Chronicillness is a major health care problem today. However, the healthcare systems are working hard to deal with the situation. Chronicillness is a condition that develops gradually and worsens as timegoes by. Chronic illness is a long-term illness that has no curethough, it is controllable. The pain of chronic illness growsgradually, and by the time a patient realise it, the illness hasalready spread largely (Bland,2014).Chronic illnesses are characterised by many risk factors, longillness, complex causes, long latency period, and functionalimpairment or disability. Examples of chronic disease include stroke,arthritis, coronary heart disease, asthma, chronic kidney disease,consistent back pain, oral disease, frequent migraines, lung cancer,and depression, among others.
Onthe other hand, acute illness is a condition whereby the symptomsappear suddenly and worsen speedily. According to Changand Johnson (2014),the pain tell that a body has been hurt for instance, when one fall,burn, or stub a toe, the pain appears immediately and waves away asit heals and finally disappear once the injury is healed. Thecondition can be as simple or serious as stubbing a toe or heartattack respectively. In simple language, acute illnesses are illnessor injuries that take place rapidly, as well as end rapidly. Someexamples of acute diseases include flu, coughs, breaking a bone,backache, one-time headache, burn, cold, and asthma attack, amongothers.
Thereare significant differences between chronic diseases and acutedisease ranging from the definition, symptoms, medication, treatment,duration, and nature of pain. By definition, chronic illness is ahealth problem that is relentless and has a long-lasting effect. Incontrast, acute illness is a health problem with a rapid onset buthas a short-lasting effect (Changet. al., 2014).Secondly, the symptoms of acute disease appear gradually while thoseof acute disease appear suddenly. It may take months or years beforenoticing the symptoms of chronic disease while it takes minutes,hours, or few days to notice acute illness. Thirdly, chronic diseaselasts for a long period usually, it may take months or years for thedisease to disappear completely. On the contrary, acute illness livesfor a short duration, usually few days or few weeks. Fourthly, thenature of pain of chronic disease develops gradually based onposture, habitual diet, among other conditions. Unfortunately, thepain may also continue beyond the recovery period. Conversely, thenature of pain of an acute illness starts immediately as the reactionor injury occur or after someone has been hurt. Finally, chronicdisease requires intensive medication and hospitalization. Forinstance, a chronic disease such as chronic disease requires dialysisregularly. Bland(2014), states that other conditions such as back pains, asthma, andmigraines requires dedicated diet or fitness routine as a treatment.However, these treatments do not cure but only reduce the symptom andthe pain. On the other hand, acute disease can be curable evenwithout treatment such as minor stub on the leg. Other conditionssuch as cough and cold require prescription medication from a healthcare, or over-the –counter medicines.
Healthpsychologists have a vital role to help people with chronic illnessto cope with the condition. For instance, they can participate inhealth-promoting activities such as nutrition-awareness campaigns andsmoking cessation. These activities enables them to increases theirknowledge and skills hence, they are more equipped to fight chronicdiseases. Further, health psychologists need to encourage healthlifestyle change, as well as behaviour modification (Changet. al., 2014).Therefore, they should closely work with chronic patients and advisethem on the best diet. In addition, they should advise them how tolive a healthy life to avoid further spread of the disease.
Bland,J. (2014). Thedisease delusion: Conquering the causes of chronic illness for ahealthier, longer, and happier life.New York: Harper Wave.
Chang,E., & Johnson, A. (2014). Chronicillness & disability: Principles for nursing practice.Internet Source.