Assessment of Family Coping with Illness

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

Coping with the stress of a critical illness, a severe physical handicap, or a marked developmental delay is not only an individual response, but also represents a continuing interaction among family members and those closely associated with them, as well as with the outside environment. This article examines the characteristics of family coping, provides recommendations for facilitating improved coping, and presents criteria for assessing how well a family is responding to the problem.

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