For Physicians

Canam (1993) lists 8 common tasks related to caring for a child with an illness or disability:

  1. Accepting the condition
  2. Managing the condition daily
  3. Managing the developmental needs of the child with a chronic illness
  4. Managing the normal developmental needs of other family members
  5. Coping with ongoing stress and crisis
  6. Assisting family members to manage feelings
  7. Educating others about the chronic condition
  8. Establishing a support system.

Only one of these eight tasks (#2) has to do with the child’s direct medical needs!

Research shows that economic resources, social support, good communication, family cohesion, mental and physical health, and life-skills all contribute to better medical outcomes for children with chronic illness or disabilities and their families – it is significant that these are the very characteristics placed most at risk by the circumstance of caring for an ill child.

Family and environment must be considered part of effective medical treatment for a child with tick-borne illness. Use the assessments below to help gauge the circumstances and resources of your patients, and consider the 8 steps when planning treatment. Just asking the right questions can empower patients and caregivers to consider aspects of health, lifestyle, and well-being that support treatment adherence, and facilitate better medical outcomes for children.

Sample patient assessments

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