What is the common name of your health condition?

The purpose of this assignment is to gain an understanding of the nature and distribution of a particular physical or behavioral health problem: major depressive disorder.  the etiology of the health condition, its prognosis and treatment, noted social determinants and health disparities in these dimensions and the experience of the illness.  Your paper will examine issues of the behavioral, psychosocial and ecological aspects of the major depressive disorder, with focused attention to the role of social work in addressing micro and macro features of the health problem.

Learning Objectives.  Be able to understand, use and apply acquired perspectives, knowledge and skills about the health problem and the role of social work/your profession in integrated health care to the analysis of a diverse range of health conditions and problems. 

Skill Development.  Acquire skills in the areas of research, analysis, synthesis of health information and data, and health literacy.  The student will develop skills in critically evaluating relevant professional literature and other written information, identifying stresses associated with disease, and targeting individual, community-level and society-level processes for intervention and change. 

Relation of assignment to course content.  The assignment is focused on the major elements of course content with respect to the distribution, determinants, and psychological and behavioral aspects of health and disease. The assignment involves the examination of the behavioral, psychological, social, economic, environmental, and cultural variations in and determinants of the health problem.  The influence of social determinants such as race, gender, socioeconomic position along with cultural and diversity factors are examined and inform the discussion of the existence of potential health disparities in disease prevalence, treatment, and/or outcomes.  The discussion of social work/health professional roles will address issues of professional ethics and PODS content and functioning as a member of integrated health care delivery team.

Format The paper should be 6 pages in length.  with 12-point font (not including references) with 1” margins.  Use APA style for in-text citations and references.  Resources for the assignment should include the texts and peer reviewed professional journals.  You must provide a minimum of 4 peer reviewed professional journal article references. The 6 page double spaced paper should provide appropriate APA citations and a minimum of 4 professional peer reviewed article references to support your analysis. 

Throughout this assignment, you are encouraged to envision yourself as a person with this diagnosis—major depressive disorder. To “own it”– and to reflect on what you might be thinking, feeling, experiencing as you learn about your diagnosis and treatment plan.  It is normal to focus on the facts of this assignment, but you will also learn from pausing from time to time and thinking, “what would it be like if this really was my diagnosis?”

  1. Health Problem Description: Describe your specific health problem or condition and its associated distribution patterns in the US.
    • What is the common name of your health condition? Are there other names/slang words used by medical science or society to refer to your health condition?
    • Describe the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and prognosis, survival rates associated with your this health problem in the United States.
    • Is there a typical age or age range of onset? If so, what is it?
    • What is the etiology of your disorder?
    • What are risk factors and contributing factors associated with your condition? How might health behaviors influence your diagnosis?
    • What are common physical and psychological symptoms associated with your disorder?
    • What diagnostic and/or screening procedures are used to assess/diagnosis your condition?
    • What body systems and organs are involved in your health problem?
    • What are identifiable differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality and survival across different sub-groups in the US? Where do you fit in this data?
    • How might social determinants of health impact this diagnosis?
    • What course concepts can you integrate?
    • What other observations, analysis and comments do you wish to make?
  2. Treatment and Interventions and Impact: Describe the recommended interventions and treatments for this condition, cost and demands of treatment throughout the potential continuum of the condition from diagnosis across the life span.   Ground your information and analysis in appropriate literature review.
    • What diagnostic testing/evaluation is typically done to determine your recommended treatment? What might you experience or need to endure in this diagnostic process prior to treatment starting?
    • What is the standard treatment(s)/interventions for your condition? What might be the impact if there is no “standard” treatment?
    • What are potential side effects/secondary losses/impact of treatment(s)?
    • What prognosis information is known about your condition? What is known about challenges of living with your condition? When do risks for exacerbation, progression, recurrence appear to be higher?
    • What are the costs of treatment? Think of costs broadly: consider financial costs of the actual treatment(s), medications, professional fees;  physical costs to body, time spent in treatment, functioning, relationships, ability to work, quality of life changes; emotional costs, individual/family/society costs?
    • What complementary and alternative medicine and treatments and approaches might be considered for your condition?
    • What research and clinical trials, if any are being conducted regarding your condition? What is the hope for future treatments?
    • What ethical, cultural, diversity issues may arise for you in treatment/intervention decision making? What factors will you consider in making your treatment choices?

3. Reflection as a Patient

  • What were your first thoughts when you received the diagnosis you were given? What were your beliefs, assumptions, views about this illness as you began this assignment
  • What are you feeling after your diagnosis and learning of your possible treatment plan? What are your thoughts, fears, hopes?  What are you concerned about? What are your questions?  What might you and your family be needing at this time?
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