Because of the family physician’s role in continuing care, an understanding of the developmental processes experienced by humans is imperative. Patients often present to physicians with the superficial complaint of a medical concern when the true underlying problem relates to an adjustment to their own development or the response of the family to that adjustment. Family physicians can be of great assistance in such cases. They may be called on to provide “anticipatory guidance,” reassurance regarding the normality of such experiences, or assistance for those with a difficult adjustment. This chapter addresses the developmental characteristics during each stage of life and their impact on the care of the patient. Additionally, because the older population experiences a significant increase in medical problems, special attention is paid to the concerns of the impact of illness on this stage of the developmental process.
KeywordsFamily Physician Geriatric Patient Healthy Life Expectancy Home Visitor Program Adolescent Stage
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