The clinician's role in promoting resiliency for individuals and families with growth anomalies

Howard D. Silverman, Michelle Grunauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some recent clinic and population-based studies suggest that severe short stature is not associated with significant behavioral and psychological problems, however collectively studies on this topic are variable and frequently contradictory. In light of these contradictory sources, it is important to recognize that there may be some children for whom growth failure is disabling. Many of such children can respond to counseling and support, but there may be occasions in which therapy can be recommended. Resiliency can be defined as a pattern of positive adaptation in the context of past or present adversity with resiliency in childhood defined as typical development in the face of adverse circumstances that propel others to deleterious outcomes. Several strategies for promoting resilience in short stature patients and their families include 1) conducting a comprehensive psychosocial assessment; 2) recommending psychological strategies to directly address predictable social challenges associated with short stature; 3) discouraging the expectation that taller stature is associated with improvement in quality of life and; 4) discussing treatment efficacy in terms of the degree of certainty and magnitude of effects. Recognizing time constraints in clinical settings, these approaches can be carried out across multiple visits. Being aware of, honoring, and addressing factors the parent and patient use in making their treatment decisions has the potential to promote resiliency in patients and families. This approach to clinical care can serve to promote resiliency in clinicians as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-37
Number of pages4
JournalGrowth Hormone and IGF Research
StatePublished - Apr 2020


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