The Impact of Chronic Illness (Heart Disease and Stroke)








The Impact of Chronic Illness (Heart Disease and Stroke)

Summary of the Interview

The questionnaire was given to a 55 year old woman called B.T. She is a close family friend who currently copes with heart disease and stroke. She first experienced this problem one year ago when she had a heart attack and a stroke within a one-month period. She has had a fairly satisfactory experience with her healthcare provider. However, she feels that the treatment is currently quite expensive. Nonetheless, the experience has made her alter lifestyle and she now engages in regular physical activity and consumes a healthy diet.

Analysis of the Interview Responses

From the interview responses, it is clear that B.T. is taking her medical condition very seriously. After her near death experience, she has made a lot of effort towards ensuring that she has a low probability of getting another heart attack or a stroke. B.T.’s family has no history of stroke or heart disease. Therefore, her condition is down to her previous poor lifestyle choices. She has since changed her ways and only consumes healthy foods instead of junk foods. Also, she does regular exercises and a considerable amount of physical activity. She takes all her medication on time and goes for her therapy sessions as scheduled.

In addition, B.T.’s physician has comprehensively educated her on all the early warning signs to look out for and how to respond if she experience any of them. More so, her friends and family are aware of these signs and know what to do in case she experience an impending heart attack or stroke. Therefore, she has a strong support system to aid her in the management of her chronic illness. Due to the steps she has taken, her health has significantly improved and she has never experienced another episode of heart attack or stroke. Also, her mobility has improved considerably.

How the Information Will Impact the Care Plan Development

The information provided will be very helpful in the formulation of a good care plan. From her responses, it is clear that B.T. has responded positively to her setback. Despite getting a chronic illness, she has gone out of her way to adhere to her physician’s advice and treatment plan. She is actively taking part in the restoration of her health and has even included her family and friends as a strong support structure for her recovery. Therefore, creating a care plan for such an individual will be relatively easy.

According to Hill, Carson, and Vitale (2019), a good care plan has a high likelihood of enhancing a patient’s quality of life, lower the chances of hospitalization, and improve the patient’s mortality. Additionally, good care plans are crucial in maximizing the patients’ health potential vial pharmacological and lifestyle interventions. Based on B.T.’s response so far, it is clear that the inclusion of a comprehensive care plan will help her since she is an individual who adheres to her physician’s recommendations. Nevertheless, it is vital to get more information on B.T’s case with regards to certain elements that might impact the creation of a care plan. This way, it will be easy to enhance the quality of care and support given to her.

First, there is the issue of communication and information. According to NHS Scotland. (2009), poor information-giving and communication on the part of healthcare practitioners often leaves pertains being anxious, confused, and disempowered. This is surprising considering that chronic illness patients require confidence, reassurance, and strength to cope with their conditions. Although the current physician attending to B.T. is doing well to communicate effectively with her patient, it is vital that the care plan developed is good enough to ensure that even is the physician is changed, B.T. will continue having a good relationship with her physician with regards to open communication and extensive education on her condition.

Second, there is the issue of self-management. NHS Scotland (2009) notes that self-management is vital in patients such as B.T. The patient plays a central role in his/her recovery or disease management. Therefore, the care plan should be comprehensive enough to include vital information to aid effectively managing her condition. Finally, there is the issue of preparing for other conditions that are related to heart disease and stroke. For instance, Hill, Carson, and Vitale (2019) assert that such patients are at risk of cognitive decline. Therefore, the care plan must contain a section that highlights the need for patients to undergo regular checkups to ensure they do not succumb to the conditions that heart disease and stroke patients are prone to. This is vital in ensuring that B.T.’s care not only focuses on heart disease and stroke, but is comprehensive enough to prepare her for further chronic illnesses early enough.

Copy of the Interview

1. “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your satisfaction level with the healthcare services you get from your healthcare provider with regards to your chronic illness?”

Response: My satisfaction level is a 7. My physician has been very helpful in helping me cope with my condition. She does not only offer treatment but also gives me advice on preventive measures to ensure I manage my heart condition. However, the treatment is quite costly. Despite having health insurance, I still find myself spending extra to get the best medical attention available.

2. “Are there any negative side effects of the current medication and therapy you are using to manage your condition?”

Response: So far, there have been no side effects from the medication I am taking. I have been using anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents for the past one year. The former aids in the prevention of recurrent strokes while the latter prevents the formation of blood clots.

3. “Are you indulging in preventive measures such as physical activity and eating a healthy diet?”

Response: Yes, I partake in motor-skill exercises to enhance my coordination and muscle strength. This therapy has been helpful in restoring my abilities after the stroke. Also, I have dumped junk food and now only consume a healthy and balanced diet. I feel that this new lifestyle is improving my overall health.

4. “How confident are you in your ability to identify the signs and symptoms of an impending stroke or heart attack?”

Response: I feel fairly confident in identifying early signs and symptoms of a heart attack or a stroke. My physician has been very helpful in this regard. She has comprehensively educated me on all the early warning signs to look out for and how to respond if I experience any of them. Additionally, my friends and family are aware of these signs and know what to do in case I experience an impending heart attack or stroke.

5. “Kindly list three things that you require from your healthcare provider to enhance your quality of living and help you effectively manage your chronic illness.”

Response: First, I need my healthcare provider to find ways of subsidizing my treatment. Second, I need my healthcare provider to include my close friends and family in the sensitization program where they are educated on my condition. Finally, I need my healthcare provider to promote the importance of preventive healthcare in dealing with this chronic condition, not only for me, but other people who are at risk of getting heart disease or stroke.



Hill, L., Carson, M. A., & Vitale, C. (2019). Care plans for the older heart failure patient. European Heart Journal Supplements21(Supplement_L), L32-L35.

NHS Scotland. (2009). Better Heart Disease and Stroke Care Action Plan. The Scottish Government, Edinburgh.


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