Chapter

The Evaluation of the Patient

Eric J. Cassell

in The Nature of Healing

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369052
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979103 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369052.003.0006
The Evaluation of the Patient

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When sickness was defined by disease, evaluation aimed at the diagnosis of disease. In this book sickness expresses its effects by interfering in function from the molecular to the spiritual level. The evaluation should reveal the disease process or pathophysiology (the process that interferes with function), the impairments of function at any level, the way they interfere with the person’s life, and the degree to which they impede the person’s goals and purposes. The chapter details the evaluation process from the patient’s presentation of self, through the history, to a physical examination including a concentration on function. The focus is on the person. Reasons for error are discussed, as is the problem of trust. The most fundamental change that emerges after doing this kind of evaluation is an altered attitude that carries over into all aspects of the clinician’s work.

Keywords: evaluation; function; illness, history of; trust; physical examination; person; error

Chapter.  12864 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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