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Image by National Cancer Institute

Complex Patients

There is a group of patients often identified as “complex” because they bring multiple chronic illnesses plus behavioral health diagnoses, and because they often utilize so much in care resources without a corresponding benefit.  When their relationship with their doctor isn’t working, it can lead to a reciprocal interactive process, each making negative generalizations about the other, leading to a failure of partnership. When the relationship is working, when partnership is being achieved, the reciprocal process leads to the patient’s growing experience of being part of a team, and of self-efficacy in maintaining their health.  Both the patient and the health professionals on the team experience more satisfaction with the interaction.  A team approach has been shown to be necessary for effecting the best outcomes for these people.



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