Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-30-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Sarah Moses

Second Advisor

Susan Pedigo

Third Advisor

Joshua Sharp

Relational Format



Millions of people worldwide are suffering from chronic illness at this very moment. Just in the United States, a little less than half of the entire population has been diagnosed with a chronic illness, and a large portion of those patients have been diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases. Those stricken by incurable illness are forced to face and manage their unique illness experience along with the side-effects of the disease itself. For this subset of the population, everyday normal activity can become relatively impossible to work through. There are financial, psychological, social, and physical obstacles to overcome every day that happen to seem just that much worse when placed in conjunction with a long-term ailment.

The world of Western medicine today, despite its ever-advancing ways, still fails to provide a proper systematic care plan for these individuals’ personal and intricate needs. Studies have shown promising treatment plans, such as integration and practice facilitation; however, few studies have been performed in regards to these treatment approaches, and the positive results have yet to be fully implemented in a way that suggests their utilization across the country. The goal of this original research is to explore how the current healthcare system, specifically in the United States, approaches chronic.

This research was gathered through research studies, notable books by reputable writers in the area, an interview, and first-hand shadowing experience. Through these outlets, it was found that while there is a greater recognition of the problem today, there is still little knowledge regarding the proper way in which to care for the chronically ill. The system fails to approach the topic in a way that is feasible for the chronically ill, and because of this, many do not receive the correct treatment. As an effect, many will suffer more than they already do.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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