Guidelines for the doctor

• Include the family as much as possible, starting early in the acute phase of the illness. It may necessitate family conferences.

• Include the family on a continuing basis, especially if a long-term illness is anticipated. It is helpful to be alert for changes in attitudes, such as anger and resentment towards the sick member.

• Include the family in hospital discharge planning.

• If a serious change in family dynamics is observed the use of experts may be needed.

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