1. Cynthia, M. Kosik MSN, RN


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the literature on individual adaptation to physical-related disabilities. A majority of the literature reviewed focuses on lifestyle issues of the physically disabled or individuals with chronic illnesses. These include coping, adaptation, personal control, and the ability to achieve an optimal level of functioning. Optimal health and well-being are correlated with adaptation and individual characteristics which influence coping mechanisms. Socioeconomic, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs are all associated with adaptation. Adaptation is a continuous, individualized, long-term, and often-complex process that has an unpredictable outcome. Each individual has different perceptions of how to optimize his or her health and well-being. Case managers of all disciplines must be prepared to be effective, clinical resources who can evaluate individual adaptation and disability-related factors. Coping mechanisms vary and individual outcomes are optimized by setting goals in the most effective manner possible.


Primary practice setting: Multidisciplinary collaboration among individuals in medical, nursing, and social work environments such as acute care facilities, long-term care, subacute rehabilitation, and managed care organizations.


Findings/conclusion: As case managers, it is inevitable that we will encounter adaptation and disability. Understanding our patient's individual descriptions of optimal health and well-being can help facilitate positive outcomes.


Implications for case management practice: Multidisciplinary case managers are on the forefront of assisting individuals with adaptation and disability-related factors. Implementation strategies must include knowledge of, and utilization of, resources, and intercollaborative and intracollaborative networking. Further exploration is needed to assist in eliminating or minimizing nonadherence to coping with disability.