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How Primary Care Doctors Overcome Challenges in Providing Comprehensive Care for Patients with Chronic Diseases

Health has always been a priority for us. We like to keep our bodies healthy so that we can continue doing things we enjoy, such as exercising and going on trips with friends and family.

Life can be incredibly unpredictable, particularly when it comes to our health. No matter how prepared we may be, we can never fully anticipate when we may become ill. That’s where the topic of diseases comes in. One day, we may be healthy, and the next, we could be facing a serious illness.

Being diagnosed with a disease can be a shocking and difficult experience for both patients and their families. It requires mental and emotional preparation to face the challenges that come with a serious illness, particularly if it is a chronic disease.

What Is a Chronic Disease?

Chronic disease is a long-lasting condition that can be managed through treatment but cannot be cured. According to the data from the centres for disease control, chronic disease is the leading cause of death in the United States accounting for 70% of deaths.

When you have a chronic disease, your primary care doctor will focus on how to manage your disease rather than curing it. They would help you adjust to the illness and get used to the treatment or therapy needed to control the disease you have.

If you are not yet aware, some examples of chronic diseases are the following:

  • Allergies and asthma
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes

This is why you should have regular checkups to avoid chronic diseases and to detect them early in people who already have them.

How Do Primary Care Doctors Overcome the Challenges of Providing Healthcare for Patients With Chronic Diseases?

There are challenges that come with dealing with chronic diseases. It is a collective effort between the primary care physician, the family, and the patient. There are challenges that doctors face when they provide for these kinds of patients. Let us find out what these challenges are and how doctors are able to overcome them.

Lack of Understanding of the Patient’s Condition

Any person diagnosed with a chronic disease starts with a blank slate. They do not know anything about the disease at first. Making the patient understand the condition is one step toward getting them to agree to the necessary treatment.

For example, a general physician has a patient with diabetes. The physician started her treatment with insulin pens. The patient does not want to start using these pens because it is not yet clear to her what the purpose of the pen is.

In order to address this kind of challenge, the doctor can explain to the patient that these pens would bring insulin into her body as her pancreas does not produce enough glucose.  When the patient has a better understanding of the condition and her doctor is willing to fill in the gaps, the treatment will go more smoothly because the patient is now aware of its importance.

Also, if the patient’s family is aware of how they can assist with treatment, such as reminding them to take their blood sugar tests and accompanying them on walks for exercise, the patient will not feel alone and will gain strength in dealing with the disease.

Patients Have Difficulty Affording Treatment

Money is one of the main concerns when someone gets sick. They would think of ways to afford medication, consultations, or treatment. Doctors can help with these challenges when they provide care.

One way doctors could help is with medication. If there is a cheaper medicine that can be used to treat the patient than what you originally prescribed, you can inform him or her of it. You could, for example, prescribe a less expensive brand of medication that serves the same purpose.

Another way is to refer patients. If your doctor has patients who need to go for treatment such as chemotherapy, he can refer them to a free or cheap treatment facility.

Keeping the Mental Health of Patients in Check

Patients with chronic disorders can also develop mental health issues such as depression. This is because the anxiety and stress brought about by their illness can make them prone to depression.

When patients are in their doctors’ offices, they should be asked how they are doing. Doctors should also ask if the patients have any problems or concerns. Listening can really make a difference. When patients believe that people are willing to listen to them, they are more likely to express their concerns, reducing the burden they bear.

Another thing the doctor can do is advise the family on how to build a strong support system for the chronically ill family member. For example, during their session, the doctor was able to find out that the patient has been feeling lonely lately because his relatives are always outside.

The doctor can discuss this concern with the family, and the family can now adjust and make the patient feel supported by inviting the patient to join and simply being beside the patient is a form of support system.


Dealing with a chronic illness is never easy. It will be difficult for the patient at first because he is unfamiliar with his condition, but he will be able to manage his illness with the help of his physician.

Aside from the treatment, it is also important for the patient to have a strong support system. This is because they can be prone to depression and other mental health issues. A simple invitation to go out and eat dinner with them is already a way of showing support and would be a great help in the management of the patient’s condition.

If you have a relative that has a chronic disease, it is never too late to show your support for them. The support we show them will help them fight the disease and make them stronger. Whatever support you show, it is appreciated.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Examples of Chronic Diseases?

  • Allergies and asthma
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes

What Challenges Do Primary Care Doctors Face When Dealing With Chronic Disease Patients?

  • Lack of information regarding the patient’s condition
  • Some patients cannot afford medication and treatment
  • Keeping the mental health of patients in check

How Do Primary Care Doctors Overcome These Challenges?

  • Letting the patient understand his condition
  • Referral to free treatment centres and prescription of less expensive brands or medication alternatives
  • Assist the family in establishing a strong support system for the patient