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The 'maternal grimace' sign. A clue to the importance of the contextual diagnosis

Butler, Christopher Collett 1995. The 'maternal grimace' sign. A clue to the importance of the contextual diagnosis. Archives of Family Medicine 4 (3) , pp. 273-275.

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Parents sometimes present illness in a child as an expression of their own distress, and patient-centered medicine attempts to address the underlying causes of problems by incorporating psychosocial factors in the diagnosis. However, in the real world of busy primary care, it is not always possible or appropriate to broaden every consultation, and the clinician may have to rely on certain clues that suggest the importance of exploring hidden reasons for consulting. Two cases are presented in which a mother's dramatic grimace during the gentle examination of a comfortable child alerted the clinician to parental anxiety disproportionate to the child's illness. Addressing parental anxiety proved fruitful. This "maternal grimace sign," pointing to the importance of the contextual diagnosis, underlines the usefulness of careful observation of all those involved in the consultation and may have implications for the way clinicians choose to position children and parents during physical examinations

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: American Medical Association
ISSN: 1063-3987
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 03:32

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