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Formulation structure

5. Formulation

In this part, you should explore in more depth the aetiology of the patient's illness.

You will need to draw on the precipitating, predisposing and perpetuating factors identified earlier in your summary to define the biological, psychological and social forces that have contributed towards a) the development of the patient's illness and b) their response to their illness.

A major difference between a summary and a formulation is that the latter seeks to link the pieces of information as opposed to listing them.

You should draw on relevant pieces of information from earlier parts of your report and consider the patient's presenting problem in the context of their history of chronic illness. You can also integrate evidence and concepts from the wider literature; however, your statements should be an understanding of the patient, not of the literature.

Sample text and writing tips

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