Original Articles

Community exposure to asbestos in Casale Monferrato: from research on psychological impact to a community needs-centered healthcare organization


Abstract


Introduction. Asbestos exposure has a negative impact on both the physical health of the population, and on its psychological and community components. Usually such issues are addressed via top-down strategies, but this approach is unable to address the interpersonal processes connected to living in a specific context. Method. The work carried on in Casale Monferrato since 2006 proceeds in the opposite direction: promoting a different interaction between health system policy-makers and administrators, field actions, and system thinking. Our goal was to create a reliable model that could fit into other contexts, while being flexible and adapting to specific backgrounds. Starting from the results obtained during a first assessment phase, a psychoanalytic group was arranged, aimed at promoting the symbolization and signification of the emotions related to the ill-fated prognosis. Results. The clinical work offers a space for handling the illness and its psychological impact, in order to achieve: 1) a subjective perception of themselves as not impotent and alone; 2) improved abilities of caregivers to manage the disease; 3) enhanced quality of residual life. Conclusions. An integrated multidimensional intervention promotes resilience in the community, but it requires time, for patients, relatives, and the professionals involved. Only with the combined support of oncologists and the entire ward staff will an internal trust be free to grow within a somato-psychic space able to accommodate and sustain the participants during the final stages of their own life, or that of someone close to them.

Keywords


Contaminated sites, asbestos, psychological effects, resilience, mentalization

Full Text:

PDF

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


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