People Help Themselves: An Interdisciplinary Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

The study will also be important to those in the future, because scientists have not yet found ways to cure these chronic illnesses or correct some of these problems that are seen today, and therefore it stands to reason that there will be more people in the future who will have to face the same problems as those with chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries today.

Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is relatively large, simply because there has been a great deal written about chronic illness and injuries from the perspective of the physician and from the perspective of the patient. Both sides are important, although the focus here will remain largely on the patient perspective. Because there are so many people today that suffer from a chronic illness or traumatic injury, much study has been done about these individuals. Despite these studies, however, not a lot of work has been done regarding the behavioral and emotional issues that are faced by those with chronic illnesses and injuries, and it is important that these aspects be addressed just as much as the physical aspect of the issue.

Humanitarian City Hospital

The Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City Hospital is the focus of the case study information that will appear in the latter part of Chapter Three, so it is important to discuss it briefly here. There are many rehabilitation programs there, and they include:

Amputee Program/Prosthetics and Orthotics Service

Brain Injury Program

Gait Disorder Program

Medical Surgical Rehabilitation

Pediatric Programs

Spinal Cord Injury Program

Stroke Rehabilitation Program

Therapeutic Recreation and Wheelchair Sports

Transitional Housing Program

Vocational Rehabilitation


There are also many comprehensive medical services, including:

Anesthesiology & Critical Care

Pediatrics and Adolescent Care

Diabetic Foot

Dental Specialties


Emergency Department






Infectious Diseases

Internal Medicine





Pain Management


Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation



Psychiatry & Psychology Services


It is easy to see from this list that the center handles almost everything and is very concerned about patient care. With this being the case, it is a good center to study cases from because there is so much rehabilitation information that can be collected there. Since the center is so comprehensive in what it offers, there are many different types of cases that can be looked at from there and that will give a better overview of the issues that are important to those who struggle to help people with chronic illnesses and injuries.

Overview of the Study

The first chapter of this study detailed some of the basic information that will be dealt with in the rest of the study, including the statement of the problem and the reasons behind why the study was conducted. These are all very important issues to discuss, as they set the stage for what will come later.

In Chapter Two, the literature on this subject will be reviewed. The literature review chapter will be as extensive as space permits, as there is a lot of literature that has been written about the issue and there are also theories that deal with it in some way. These theoretical ideas are very important because they help with an understanding of what the problem and the beliefs surrounding it stemmed from. Without having an extensive review of the literature, it would be much more difficult to understand many of the ideas that are behind the study and also some of the reasoning that is behind the data analysis. The most important thing, however, is the idea that the literature review must be complete and thorough in order to ensure a solid understanding of the rest of the chapters.

Chapter Three deals with the methodology, and will also explain how the issue will be studied so that the information in Chapter Four will be clear. Chapter Three will also be somewhat lengthy, as it is important to ensure that the type of analysis being done is clear and that all limitations, validity issues, and other possible considerations are studied and defined.

The data analysis and personal experience information will be included in Chapter Four. This chapter will examine the data that was collected by the method discussed in Chapter Three. The results of the analysis will be shown in Chapter Four so that conclusions can be detailed in the next chapter and recommendations can be detailed in the chapter following that. Chapter Four is possibly the most important chapter in the study because it will provide the solid information that the rest of the study is based on and show whether what was suspected appears to be accurate in the end.

Chapters Five and Six will summarize the entire study and discuss the information that was provided in it. Also in those chapters will be the conclusions that were reached by the researcher...
...This is also very important, because every study has some limitations that must be dealt with and leaves possibilities for other researchers in the future.

These possibilities should be pointed out so that research that is done in the future can take the proper direction and provide the most beneficial information where the issue of chronic illness and injury is concerned. By allowing for this much information and a thorough analysis of the data the study is able to show all of the concerns that are being dealt with, how serious the behavioral and emotional issues involved in chronic illness and injury really are and whether more should be done in the study of this issue to help more individuals improve the quality of their lives.

Chapter Two: Literature Review

Main Area of Study

The study of the emotional and behavioral response to disability is important to the treatment, and/or acceptance of the disability. It is, however, not as thoroughly discussed throughout literature as the more physical aspects of the problem. This emotional area is in need of further study, and it is therefore being brought to light here. Once an individual is diagnosed with a chronic disease or physical disability every aspect of his or her life changes, including family interaction. Professionals working with the chronically physically disabled need to gain an understanding of the dynamics of how their patient's lives are impacted by the disability and how the patient is coping with the emotional and behavioral changes that are also brought on by the physical disability.

One important area of study when addressing the issue of people with disabilities are the emotional and behavioral changes caused by disability as they relate to the onset of anxiety or depression in the patient. In many instances a medical professional focuses mostly on the physical manifestations of disability and aggressive treatment plans without consideration of the cumulative effects the treatments, medication, physical pain, or surgical procedures have on the individual's psychological, emotional, and behavioral well-being.

The emotional, behavioral, and physical manifestations of the physical disability directly affect the patient's ability to cope, the quality of life, and the manner in which the physical disability affects family and social relationships. How the family of a person with a physical disability interacts with that person and with one another can be very critical to how well a physically disabled person functions. Families who are close-knit and caring will not only likely take better care of the disabled person, but also will not resent doing so.

Should there be a collaborative effort between medical professionals and the family members to effectively treat patients with disabilities? When patients have the opportunity to participate in their treatment utilizing medical technology, psychological treatment, and behavior modification techniques they increase their propensity toward maintaining a positive outlook concerning their disability, recovery, and/or recuperation.

Many studies have recognized that developing collaborative treatment plans to include family members, psychologists, social services, and behavioral specialists could effectively implement the biopsychosocial approach to chronic problems such as illness and disability (Engel, 1977) to encompass the vast array of difficulties the disability manifests in the individual.

Disability is a problem for a lot of people, even with current scientific advances, and studies have shown that disability can be more easily maintained and some of the effects of it decreased by the collaboration between psychology and medicine to correlate and manage a treatment plan to effectively reduce the behavioral origins of the disability (Wickramasekera, Davies, & Davies, 1996). This has a great deal of significance for those who are struggling with this problem, as well as their family members.

The onset of anxiety, depression, or another mental or emotional health problem is one of the serious mental health problems that come from medical issues such as disability diagnoses. Patients that have a disability are often angry and depressed about the problems that they must face (Wedding, 2001; Keefe, et al., 2002; Eitel,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anderson, B.L. (2002). Biobehavioral Outcomes Following Psychological Interventions for Cancer Patients. Journal of Counsulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(3), 590-610.

Brannon, L., & Fiest, J. (2004). Health Psychology: Vol.. An Introduction to Behavior and Health (Fifth ed.) Belmont CA: Thompson/Wadsworth.

DiMatteo, M. (2004). Social Support and Patient Adherence to Medical treatment: A Meta- analysis. Health Psychology, 23(2), 207-218.

Eitel, P., Hatchett, L., Friend, R., Griffin, K.W., & Wadhwa, N.K. (1995). Burden of Self-Care in Seriously Ill Patients Impact on Adjustment. Health Psychology, 14(5), 457-463.

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