We, the child health community, are proud to focus on ‘well-being’ much more than numerical things, like fractional shortening, GFR or HbA1c*.
In a recent discussion, it was identified that there has been a sociological academic discussion on looking at how interventions in childhood are more about well-becoming rather than well-being.
Which intrigued me …
- I’d not thought of assessing well-being as an outcome as a future-goal; failing to focus on the child and instead the adult in waiting
- But do we really think more about well-becoming more than well-being?
In oncology, I think this accusation can be quite reasonably leveled at us. Frequently. We use multi-modality therapies with a terrible acute toxicity profile to try to prevent death from life-threatening conditions. Where possible, we alleviate or prevent those side effects, and we work as a wide MDT to encourage ongoing physical, social, psychological and spiritual development. But well-becoming trumps well-being.
What about other areas of paediatrics and child health? Where do you work mainly for the future rather than the present? And is that justifiable .. if not .. how do you change that?
- Bob Phillips
* (I’m clearly joking about HbA1c …)