How should you approach the production of a clearly written paper that will demonstrate your understanding of pathophysiology and enable you to relate your studies in this course to disease occurrence and development in your patient?
. Choose a patient with whom you have (or have had) contact in your work and who has a disorder that is of interest to you. You will need information concerning the patient’s history (both before and during the course of his/her disease progression). This information can be elicited by talking to the patient and also talking with the patient’s physician(s). You will maintain confidential the name and any identifying characteristics of the patient.
2. Once you have determined the disease and the patient to which you will direct your study, read everything you can find in the clinical literature, your textbook, the Internet, etc. about the disorder. This part of your study MUST INCLUDE articles from clinical journals (eg., The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the AMA, Nursing Science Quarterly, etc) and you can also cite scholarly internet sources of information pertinent to the disorder. ALL sources are to be of a scholarly nature. DO NOT INCLUDE articles, pamphlets, or internet sites intended for the uninitiated lay person.
Your paper will have four sections: Introduction, Case Study, Conclusions, and Literature Cited. Each section will begin on a new page and the title of the section should be typed and centered at the top of the page.
• INTRODUCTION: In the Introduction you should discuss the background information concerning the disease as it is presented in the literature – this should represent a thorough study of the literature with reference to the particular disease exhibited by the patient. Here, you will present what is known about the etiology (or possible etiology) of the disease or disorder, as well as what is known about the typical progression of the disease in an afflicted individual. Define the type of disease you are studying (is it infectious, hereditary, due to deficiency or excess, etc.)? What are the usual clinical manifestations of the disorder? Be thorough, be curious, become an expert in the description of the disease or disorder. This section is to be written in narrative form – in other words, tell the story of the disease (without any reference to your specific patient). Remember to properly cite the sources of your information.
• THE CASE STUDY: This is the second part of your paper and here you will discuss the specific patient you have chosen as an illustration of an individual who manifests the disease presented in your Introduction. For example, what led up to the initial diagnosis in your patient (what signs or symptoms was the patient exhibiting; what brought him/her to seek help)? You can use the following points as a guide to lead you to a clear understanding of your patient:
o what is the etiology (if known) of your patient’s disorder; that is, is it congenital, hereditary, acquired, etc.
o what has been the pathogenesis (development) of the disease from its onset to the current status of the patient; was the onset rapid or insidious; is the disease in its early or late stages, etc.
o what are the clinical manifestations, in the patient, of the disorder (signs and symptoms); how have these changed as the disease has progressed through its various developmental stages; is the disease acute or chronic.
o what tissues, organs, organ systems are affected.
o what is the lesion distribution – body region (is the distribution local or systemic) or organ distribution (is the distribution focal or diffuse).
o are there any factors that might possibly have affected the development of the disease in the patient – for example did age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic factors, etc., influence the development of the disease
o are there, or have there been, any sequelae; might any be
expected to occur and what might these be. If there have been
sequelae, what is the basis for their development.
o what is the patient’s prognosis?
o what therapies are being used or are being considered and
what is the rationale for the therapy.
This is only a list that may serve as a guide to help you with your case study. DO NOT present your case study as information in list form. It is to be written as a clearly presented narrative concerning the course of disease in the patient.
• CONCLUSIONS: In this section you will compare what you learned from your review of the literature (as presented in the INTRODUCTION ) to your CASE STUDY of the patient and draw conclusions as to whether the progression of the disease in your patient has been typical or atypical, whether more than one etiology is (or might be) responsible and, if so, how the multiple causes are related to each other in the development of the disorder, and what you predict will be the outcome of the disease in the patient.
• LITERATURE CITED: Here list all references that you have cited in your INTRODUCTION, CASE STUDY, and CONCLUSIONS sections. Use APA format for this section. You must have AT LEAST 10 scholarly references. DO NOT INCLUDE any pamphlets, internet sites, or other materials intended for the uninitiated lay person.
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