Stages of Illness Behavior

Stage 1: Symptom Experience

The person is aware that something is wrong. A person usually recognizes a physical sensation or a limitation in functioning but does not suspect a specific diagnosis.

Stage 2: Assumption of the Sick People

If symptom persist and become severe, clients assume the sick role. At this point, the illness becomes a social phenomenon, and sick people seek confirmation from their families and social groups that they are indeed ill and that they be excused from normal duties and role expectations.

Stage 3: Medical Care Contact

If symptoms persist despite the home remedies, become severe or require emergency care, the person is motivated to seek professional health services. In this stage the client seeks expert acknowledgement of the illness as well as the treatment.

Stage 4: Dependent Client Role

The client depends on health care professionals for the relief of symptoms. The client accepts care, sympathy and protection from the demands and stresses of life. A client can adopt the dependent role in a health care institution, at home, or in a community setting. The client must also adjust to the disruption of a daily schedule.

Stage 5: Recovery and Rehabilitation

This stage can arrive suddenly, such as when the symptoms appeared. In the case of chronic illness, the final stage may involve in an adjustment to a prolong reduction in health and functioning.

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