Introduction Of Long Term Condition Management Assignment
Long-term condition (LTC) is a type of illness, which cannot be healed; however, it can be managed or controlled by using medicines and other effective treatments. Some examples of LTCs are asthma, heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, and arthritis. The thesis statement of this essay is to discuss criticallyan issue in social and healthcare-related to an individual. In this essay, the selected person has an alcoholism issue. In other words, the individual has a chronic disease characterised by uncontrolled drinking. Based on this person's case history, this essay will discuss LTC and its impact on that patient, family, and carers. Additionally, it will provide information on support and management of LTC as well as theories and social determinants related to managing this LTC. Moreover, it will discuss self-management techniques and provide recommendations to support self-management.
1. Concept of Long Term Condition
a. Discussion on Long Term Condition
LTC is also known as chronic illness, which is defined as ongoing health status, which can be managed; however not be healed or cured as well as it requires persons to self-managing complex treatments and symptoms. In this essay, the selected person is Sam, who is 36-year old and struggling with drugs and alcohol addiction. Sam spends majority of her money on alcohol and cigarettes, and sometimes she has periods when she does not drink as well as being desperate regarding her daughter for fulfilling her dreams. Heavy drinking is associated with a significant range of health issues, including stroke, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. A good rate of alcohol-related deaths is associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. According to Zhou et al. (2016), this can be tough in determining when alcohol use becomes alcoholism; however, when an individual loses control of alcohol use, it can be considered alcoholism.
It becomes a disease when an individual tries to stop alcohol consumption; however, they fail. When individuals have physical dependence upon alcohol, they experience withdrawal syndrome when they try to quit drinking. In this context, Schwarzingeret al. (2018) elaborated that alcohol addiction is considered a chronic disease because it is associated with heritability of elements that means presence of genetic components, which runs within families. Similar to other chronic diseases, alcohol addiction can also be diagnosed by considering specific symptoms as well as it can be managed by professional treatment. Witkiewitzet al. (2019) stated that some major symptoms of alcohol addiction are increasing alcohol use frequency, high tolerance regarding alcohol, drinking at inappropriate times, hiding alcohol while drinking, and increased lethargy. Additionally, if alcohol addiction is not being managed or treated appropriately, then individuals can relapse. That means Sam might experience these symptoms because a case study has shown that she spent the majority of her money on alcohol and cigarettes, which indicates her alcohol consumption habit is frequent. She tries to spend all her money on this habit.
Research has found that alcohol addiction is a major issue for both social and health care because heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Degenhardtet al. (2018) explained that drug, alcohol use is a global burden, and it has negative consequences upon health and social aspects. Alcohol use is highest regarding injuries, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, high use of drugs is associated with chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancers. In this regard, Sterling et al. (2020) explained that most common diseases that are connected to heavy alcohol consumption are infectious diseases, neuropsychiatric disease, pancreas and liver disease and any type of injuries. Therefore, based on this information, it can be discussed that Sam is at huge risk of having chronic health issues because of her uncontrolled alcohol consumption.
Besides health issues, alcohol and drug use can affect social life. Sudhinarasetet al. (2016) explained that alcohol has several social impacts, including family, sexual, and domestic violence, homicide, risky behaviour, victimisation, and criminal activity. In contrast, Ramanan and Singh (2016) stated that heavy drugs and alcohol usage lead to severe intoxication as well as social problems, including strained relationships with neighbours and family members. Conversely, many social factors lead people to increase alcohol consumption, such as discrimination and stigma. Thus, it can be discussed that because of Sam's heavy alcohol use, she can ruin her relationship with her daughter because she spends a lot of money on this habit and in future, she can ignore her daughter.
2. Impact of Living with LTC
a. Impact of LTC on an individual, their families and carers
Impact on individual
Case study has shown that Sam has been taking drugs and alcohol since she was a teenager. Alcohol has a significant negative impact on people' health, and a small amount of alcohol can affect an individual's health when they are taking it daily. Following are some examples of alcohol’s impact on an individual.
Kuntscheet al. (2017) stated that heavy drinking could inflame stomach lining, cause nausea, and heartburn. Over time, individuals can develop chronic inflammation and ulcers in their stomachs. Sam can experience these issues in her body as well as she faces difficulties getting nutrients, including thiamine and B12. She can also develop pancreatitis because excessive alcohol usage increases the production of digestive enzymes within pancreas, which can again adversely affect production of insulin and increase the risk of diabetes. That means this habit will not only damage Sam's digestive system it will also lead to other chronic health issues.
Kranzler and Soyka (2018) explained that long-term alcohol usage affects liver functions and increases the risk of severe liver inflammation as well as liver disease. Sam spends majority of her money on alcohol and cigarettes, and sometimes she has periods when she does not drink as well as being desperate regarding her daughter for fulfilling her dreams.Additionally, evidence has suggested that females' bodies are more likely to absorb alcohol, which is why females show liver issues more quickly than males. Thus, Sam has very higher chances of liver damage that can affect her entire health.
Affects nervous system
Obadet al. (2018) mentioned that alcohol could affect the communication pathway of the brain, which makes it difficult for the person to speak and think properly. Additionally, they can face issues in decision-making, remembering things and moving their body. Since Sam has been consuming alcohol since she was a teenager, she is at huge risk of having nervous system issues. As it affects the nervous system, Sam can develop mental health problems such as dementia and depression.
Research has found that people who drink alcohol regularly can develop an emotional and physical dependence on alcohol (Attiliaet al., 2018). By agreeing to this, Airagneset al. (2019) explained that when people try to quit drinking, they experience several withdrawal symptoms, including nervousness, anxiety, tremors, nausea, heavy sweating, and high BP. The case study of Sam does not show any of these symptoms; however, because she is addicted to alcohol, thus, in future, if she tries to stop drinking, she can surely experience all of these. Besides these health impacts, alcohol also affects people’s personal lives. For example, individuals with alcoholism can struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with their loved ones.
Impact on family and carers
Family has a huge role in care of people who have an alcohol addiction.Mayshaket al. (2020) explained that alcoholism in a family is an issue, which can destroy any marriage and a relationship between children and parents. That means those who drink alcohol regularly can have blood by family budget, ignore children, cause fights, and impair the happiness of their loved ones. In addition, Chan (2018) stated that families influenced by alcohol are more probable to have lower levels of emotional bonding, independence, and expressiveness. Alcohol addictive people cannot communicate with their children properly, and children can lose trust from their parents. Children of alcohol addictive individuals tend to have academic issues compared to children whose parents are not addicted to alcohol (Lipari and Van Horn, 2017).
This LTC can affect family finances because additive people can spend all their money on their addiction. The case study of Sam also shows that she spends the majority of her money on cigarettes and alcohol, which means she is affecting the family finances, which can affect her daughter's education. The case study suggests that Sam's daughter is a bright girl, and she wanted to become a teacher. She is caring for her mother while preparing for the examination. However, if she experiences this situation every day, she can develop mental health and school issues. Research has found that children growing up with alcohol-addicted parents are at high risk of having bad grades and skipping school because of stress at home (Lipari and Van Horn, 2017). However, it can also happen if they do not get proper support from their parents. Thus, it can be discussed that Sam's alcohol addiction does not affect her; it also creates several adverse effects on her family and daughter.
Vaishnaviet al. (2017) elaborated that caregivers experience several burdens to handle alcohol addictive individuals. High burden is because of the direct effects of consuming alcohol on individuals. Carers mainly help patients not feel discomfort, embarrassment, and anger. Kadamet al. (2020) illustrated that caregivers face remarkable burdens in different domains because of patients’ alcoholism. It is probably due to spouses being dependent on patients regarding several reasons, such as child rearing and finance. Majority of caregivers are wives; however, in case of Sam, her daughter takes care of her mother, and since Sam spends money without worrying about her daughter, it creates a burden on her daughter as a career.
3. Support and management of LTC
a. Social determinants and theories
Alcohol-related harms are impacted by both social determinants and consumption patterns. According to WHO, SDH (social health determinants) are non-medical factors that influence health outcomes. These are conditions where people grow, age, and life and are born (World Health Organisation, 2021). SDHs have a crucial influence on health inequalities, and WHO has provided some examples of SDH. Some are education, income, job insecurity, social protection, food insecurity, early childhood development, structural conflict, and access to affordable health services with decent service quality. By analysing the provided case study, it can be stated that in case of Sam, the SDH are income status, early childhood development, and housing.
Beard et al. (2019) stated that income or economic factors are associated with alcohol-related outcomes. Lower-income is associated with the high odds of abstinence as well as heavy drinking. The case study of Sam does not provide any information about her occupation, which means it is worked as a determinant that leads her to heavy alcohol consumption. Sudhinarasetet al. (2016) elaborated that neighbourhood poverty can shape alcohol consumption by several mechanisms, such as limited availability of employment options within disadvantaged neighbourhoods, low levels of social cohesion as well as social control on deviant behaviour for example, excessive use of alcohol.
Early childhood development
ECD is about nursery education, which is a branch of educational theory, which relates to teaching children from birth to age of eight. In this case, ECD has been considered because case study shows that Sam was consuming alcohol when she was in her teenage years. It might be possible that her childhood development was not appropriate, as it could be possible that any of her parents were addicted to alcohol, which affects her mental health and well-being. She developed alcohol addiction habits at an early age.
Additionally, there is no information about her husband in Sam's case study as she stays with her daughter. That means maybe she is divorced, or she is in separation with her husband. Thus, it indicates that her relationship with her husband was not good, and maybe it has affected her mental health and increased the frequency and quantity of alcohol. Additionally, a case study states that when she does not drink, she feels worried about her daughter's future, which gives her a lot of mental stress, and she tends to drink alcohol. Kamal et al. (2020) highlighted that people with stressful life experiences have higher chances of consuming a significant amount of alcohol daily. Therefore, in Sam's case, similar things might happen, which lead her to increase the quantity of alcohol every day.
In the case of managing this long-term condition, information on some health behaviour theories can be considered, and some of them are discussed below.
Health Belief Model (HBM)
This theory is associated with health behaviour changes based upon a rational appraisal of balance between barriers to as well as benefits of action. This model has defined that susceptibility to and recognised seriousness of a disease affects an individual's recognised threat of disease. Additionally, this model has elaborated that an individual will not seek health screening unless they possess a minimum level of knowledge and health motivation so that they can view themselves as vulnerable and threatening. They require effective intervention to improve their health. Thus, in Sam's case, she needs to understand the severity of her condition and its impact on health, social life, and family life. That means, before starting the treatment procedure, the first thing will be to provide sufficient information about alcohol use disorder and then motivate her that she can manage this issue by seeking appropriate self-management and professional help.
Social-cognitive theory (SCT)
It evolved from the social learning theories, and this is the most effective theory related to behaviour change. Similar to HMB, cognitive theory is linked to communication and education of patients about their health issues so that they can get appropriate information and try to manage their long-term issues. Based on this theory, it can be stated that Sam can presume positive attitudes and expectations towards substances by imitating and observing positive statements of her models.
b. Self-management techniques
Regarding self-management, the first approach can be detoxification. According to the NHS, if an individual consumes high-quality alcohol, they can detox at home for easing the withdrawal symptoms (National Health Services, 2018). Thus, Sam can try detoxification when she wants to ease her withdrawal syndromes.
People who receive a diagnosis of long-term conditions start making a series of adjustments with time. Self-management education will not always result within immediate behaviour change. People's responses are associated with their psychological, social, emotional, and cultural needs. Thus, by considering the HBM, Sam can try to gain knowledge about her condition and do a self-diagnosis.
Building a new community
People with severe alcohol addiction can build a new relationship with people who are also trying to avoid alcohol. For example, Sam can start communication and socialisation with new people who do not prioritise drinking as a crucial part of their life. It can help her stay away from alcoholic beverages and build new friends that can also be beneficial; for her mental health and well-being. Additionally, she can try to spend her time with her daughter. For instance, since Elizabeth has an exam, Sam can help her prepare for the exam.
Change the environment
When alcohol becomes a part of everyday routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when people are overwhelmed and stressed. That is why Sam can change her surrounding environment by keeping alcoholic beverages. If she holds an event at her house, she can bring non-alcoholic drinks so that she can stay away from alcohol consumption. Additionally, she can try to switch her drink, for example, any non-alcoholic beverage. For example, she can infuse sparkling water with some fruits or can try different types of tea. Additionally, she can try to start cooking, which can divert her mind from alcohol.
Exercise can be a great option for controlling alcohol consumption. Hallgrenet al. (2017) stated that regular physical activity had shown significant results towards reducing the alcohol consumption quantity. It has been previously discussed that regular alcohol consumption can affect different body systems. By doing regular physical activities, she can increase the concentration of neurotransmitters that contribute to exercise-induced reward. Physical activities are feasible and safe treatment options, which can enhance comorbid health problems (Hallgrenet al., 2018). Thus, it can be discussed that, in terms of self-management, she can perform exercises, which will not only help her to manage her alcohol habits; it will also help her to live a healthy life.
This essay was aimed to critically discuss one long-term condition, and here it has considered alcohol addiction and a female is offering from it. This essay has elaborated on the selected LTC and gives a rationale on why this condition is considered a social and healthcare issue. From the entire discussion, it can be concluded Sam has severe alcohol addiction, and if she does not control it, then it can affect her health as well as her healthy family relationship with her daughter. This essay has provided some strategies for self-management, and if she follows them, she can get positive results.
Some recommendations have been provided below that are related to self-management as mentioned above strategies.
Good relationship between patient and service providers
In order to support the self-management of people with alcohol addiction, professionals can build a strong relationship with the patients by identifying patients' key concerns, allowing them enough time to discuss their problems, understand how individuals are experiencing their condition and make sure that individuals contribute towards a care plan (Pilning Surgery, 2021). Thus, in Sam’s case, professionals can motivate her in building a new community with people who want to avoid alcohol.
Clear and accessible information
Additionally, they can provide her with sufficient information on her current situation. From the point of diagnosis, people experience an array of several services. In that situation, a professional can understand patients' conditions so that individuals can be a part of their care plan.
Flexibility within service provision
Patients require a different form of support based on their different stages of condition. Since Sam is severely addicted to alcohol and cigarettes, professionals can value her attribute towards continuous care, as well as they need to give enough time while talking to Sam.
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