Patients often present symptoms and problems to a family physician that are largely related to stress experienced in the family context. Patients, though, seldom identify family stress as a source of the symptoms they are experiencing. The challenge for the family physician is to accurately assess the role that family stress plays in a patient’s symptoms and decide what interventions are most appropriate and effective. These tasks require the physician to, first, use a biopsychosocial approach to patients with particular attention to the role family may play in the patient’s problems; second, assess the family dynamics that may be contributing to the patient’s difficulties; and third, decide if the degree of family difficulty is amenable to primary care counseling or must be referred to a family-oriented mental health professional.
KeywordsFamily Physician Family Therapy Family Therapist Family Stress Family Problem
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