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School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Caring for people with chronic and complex health needs has become an ever-larger part of everyday nursing. The World Health Organization has identified common and preventable risk factors that are the primary cause of chronic illness worldwide—hypertension, tobacco use, hyperglycaemia, physical inactivity, and overweight or obesity. Nurses now need an expanded range of skills and expertise that will enable them to work effectively with people whose chronic and frequently complex health issues may be seen as difficult and challenging.

This article invites you to think about your experiences of caring for people with chronic and complex conditions. Before you read any further, take a moment to think about your response to some initial questions. How would you describe your attempts to work with people with chronic and complex health needs? Do you find yourself struggling to understand when your patient doesn’t appear to be following professional health advice? What do you hear your colleagues say about chronic illness?


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


American Nurse Today

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