Response Paper: Personal Interview on Chronic Illness

Report on a personal interview with someone who copes with a chronic illness or chronic pain

The first step of this assignment is asking someone you know who copes with a chronic illness or pain if you could “interview” or discuss their health situation with them.  Preferably this discussion would happen in person or via telephone.  If need be, it can be done through email exchanges.  You must interview someone else, even if you cope with an illness or have chronic pain yourself.  Examples of chronic illness include, but are not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, asthma, and epilepsy.  Examples of chronic pain include but are not limited to lower back pain, arthritis, migraine headaches, and pain resulting from an injury.    

Then, submit a written response summarizing what you learned from your interview.  Please include your personal reflections on your interviewees’ management of his or her condition and the impact the condition has on his or her life.  Use the following questions to guide your interview and written response.  Feel free to add questions or discussion points of your own.   

1.  What condition do you have and how long have you had it?

            — What are the main symptoms you experience?

2.  How does your condition affect or impact your life?

            — How does it impact your job, family, or social life?

            — How does it impact your quality of life?

            — How does it limit the activities you can do?

— Do you have ongoing pain? 

3.  How do you manage your condition?

            — Do you see a health provider(s) on regular basis?

— Do you see several different health care providers?

— Do you have ongoing treatments?

— Are you satisfied with your health care?

            — Do you take prescriptions or medication?

            — Did you have to make lifestyle changes because of your condition? (health behaviors, etc.)

— Are you adherent to your treatment regimens? What factors influence your adherence?

4.  How do you cope with your condition?

— Do you use relaxation techniques or stress management?

            — Do you use distraction as a way to cope with your condition?

            — How do you cope with any pain you experience?

            — Do you rely on social support?

5.  Does your condition affect your family or friends in anyway?  If so, how?

            — How do they cope with your condition?

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