About this book
The symposium "Family Dynamics, Family Therapy, and Pediatric Medical Illness," held at Downstate Medical Center on December 12 and 13, 1980, considered the impact of life-threatening illness in children and adolescents on intrafamilial dynamics. A group of experts addressed the practical and theoretical psychological and social issues facing pediatric patients and their families when con fronting chronic and severe childhood illnesses including brain damage, cancer, hemophilia, juvenile diabetes, and heart disease. The presentations and group discussions clearly revealed the complexity of physical and psychological problems posed by the seriously ill child with chronic disease for both the health care provider and the family. The conference proceedings confirm that quality care and treatment for the ill child requires the partici pation of a variety of health care disciplines representing diverse fields of knowledge. Pediatricians, family practitioners, child psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists and others all have important collaborative roles to play. The symposium participants wrestled with some of the basic developmental and clinical questions: How is the ongoing development of a family altered as a result of chronic incapacitating illness in a child member? How can principles of intensive family and individ ual psychotherapy be applied during the medical treatment of life threatening illness? What are the psychological stress points during the course of a chronic medical illness? These are but a few of the issues addressed in this publication.
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