AfterShock: what to do when the doctor gives you -- or someone you love -- a devastating diagnosis, Jessie Gruman Ph.D.

AfterShock: Free App

Healthcare Professionals

I wrote AfterShock for people who have just received a devastating diagnosis - that is, I wrote it for people are in great distress but who must swiftly move through a confusing series of encounters with unfamiliar specialty medical care, take care of their families, and figure out what to do about their work, while trying to maintain their dignity.

As a health professional, you know how hard these first few weeks are. You also know the increased management burden that your patients and their families have had to assume as their care spreads across multiple specialists and institutions while care coordination services are sparse and professional time is limited.

AfterShock guides patients and their loved ones through the tasks they need to do immediately following the diagnosis of a devastating diagnosis. It is based on interviews with more than 200 people with serious medical diagnoses and their families about how they managed this period: what they needed to know but weren't informed about, what they learned, and what they did to accommodate the gaps in information and care. It also makes use of my interviews with more than 60 nurses and doctors, clinic and office staff, human resources professionals and health plan staff.

While I present very little new data on the topics I cover, the content is based on the best available health services and health research. My aim is to help people find and make use of reliable biomedical information as well as information and services to help them manage their insurance, work and family obligations, and the emotional turmoil of a health crisis.

I hope that you will recommend AfterShock to your patients and their families to supplement the care and attention you offer them during these difficult days.