Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Health Problems in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Christine BorstEmail author
  • Matthew Martin
  • C. R. Macchi
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_449


Illness, disability, and death are universal experiences in families. Prevalence rates for chronic disease, mental health problems, and nonfatal injuries suggest that most individuals will experience at least one serious health problem during their lifetime (Center for Disease Control 2017). Health problems do not occur in isolation, but instead affect those around the individual – especially immediate family members (Weihs et al. 2002). Families experiencing illness, disability, or anticipatory loss of life need comprehensive support from healthcare providers who understand the impact of health problems on families.

There is substantial evidence supporting a bidirectional and influential relationship between family and health. Family relationships have a direct impact on patient health outcomes (Kiecolt-Glaser and Newton 2001). Family support can increase medical adherence and patient satisfaction (Magrin et al. 2015), while high levels of family stress can decrease the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Borst
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew Martin
    • 1
  • C. R. Macchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  • Allen Sabey
    • 2
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA