Patricia Fennell

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Patricia A. Fennell created the Fennell Four Phase Model for understanding and treating chronic medical and mental health conditions, trauma, and the effects of crime. Jeffrey Turner, in his book American Families in Crisis: A Reference Handbook, considers her a nationally recognized expert in the care of chronic illnesses, trauma, forensics, and hospice care.[1] Fennell has written several books and articles published in the media and professional press, and is CEO of Albany Health Management Associates, Inc., in Albany, New York. Her company offers counseling, case management, and training based on her model. She also lectures on these topics at professional conferences, and community meetings.[2][3]

Education and experience[edit]

Fennell graduated from The College of Saint Rose in New York State with an undergraduate sociology degree, and received her graduate degree in social work from the State University of New York at Albany.[1]

She began her career in social work in the hospice setting. She determined that the excellent care given to the dying could be applied to individuals with chronic illnesses. In the course of time she concentrated on working, supporting, and creating a new treatment approach for chronic syndromes.[3] Her clinical experience with individuals in managing chronic illness, other works, and publications, have earned her a reputation as an expert in the field according to a review of Fennell's book; Managing Chronic Illness, published in Psychiatric Services.[4] Fennell is CEO of Albany Health Management, Inc. Her company provides counseling, consulting, professional education, and doctoral training for the State University of New York. She also engages in collaborative international research using her empirically verified "Four-Phase Model".[5]

Four Phase Model[edit]

Fennell created the Four Phase Model as a framework to help clinicians comprehend and manage the integration of the experiences of patients with chronic illnesses.[3] The four phases are crisis, stabilization, resolution, and integration. She explains that her model allows for therapeutic intervention in a flexible phase-specific manner so that individuals may integrate their illness into a meaningful life despite physical limitations. An integrated systems approach is uilized to include all aspects of an individual’s chronic illness; physical/behavioral, psychological, and social/interactive. The model recognizes a patient’s needs early in chronic illness may differ from the needs in later years, and may affect various responses to treatment, be it medical or psychosocial.[4] Study results[6][7][8][9][10] suggest that Fennell's model accurately describes the phases of illness adaptation that persons with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) experience, and that phase models may help researchers understand disparate results seen in CFS research studies.[11] The model may also be a useful tool for lifestyle modification in age management.[12] Physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers are instructed in her courses on how to apply her approach to patients.[3]


  • Fennell collaborates with DePaul University's Chronic Illness Initiative on issues related to chronically ill college students. A training program led by administrators and faculty of DePaul and Albany Health Management Associates teaches educational institutions how to develop policies and deliver services to students with chronic illness. The program is based on the FFPT model of chronic illness and DePaul's Chronic Illness Initiative support services model.[13][14]
  • Board of Directors of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME.[15]
  • Editorial Board of the Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.[15]
  • Allied Healthcare Advisory Committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).[3]
  • Professional Advisory Board of FibroAction (UK).[15]
  • Medical Advisory Panel for the Fibromyalgia Support Group for Surrey and Sussex (UK).[15]
  • Advisory board of the National Fibromyalgia Association.[3]



  • Managing Chronic Illness Using the Four-Phase Treatment Approach.[16]
  • Co-editor and co-author of Handbook of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.[5]
  • The chapter on "Chronic Illness" for Encyclopedia of Social Work.[17]
  • The Chronic Illness Workbook: Strategies and Solutions for Taking Back Your Life.[18]

Selected articles[edit]

  • CFS, The Four Progressive Stages of the CFS Experience: A Coping Tool for Patients[19]
  • CFS, Sociocultural Influences and Trauma: Clinical Considerations[20]

Selected lectures and conferences[edit]

Certification program[edit]

Fennell offers a certification program through The Advocate Program/American Association of Community Justice Professionals; it teaches people to apply her teachings to trauma survivors.[23]


  1. ^ a b Turner Jeffrey S. (2009). American Families in Crisis: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO, 2009. p. 145. ISBN 9781598841640. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  2. ^ "Events". Albany Health Management Associates. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sisk, Jennifer (Nov–Dec 2007). "Invisible Illness — What You Can't See Does Hurt Her". Social Work Today. Great Valley Publishing Co. 7 (6): 18. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  4. ^ a b Patel, Jayendra K. (2005). "Managing Chronic Illness Using the Four-Phase Treatment Approach: A Mental Health Professional's Guide to Helping Chronically Ill People". Psychiatric Services. American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. 56 (6): 759–760. doi:10.1176/ Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  5. ^ a b Jason, LA, Fennell, P.A., Taylor, R. (editors); Jason L.; et al. (June 2003). Handbook of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fatiguing Illnesses. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 794. ISBN 978-0-471-41512-1. 
  6. ^ Jason LA, Fricano G, Taylor RR, et al. (December 2000). "Chronic fatigue syndrome: an examination of the phases". J Clin Psychol. 56 (12): 1497–508. PMID 11132566. doi:10.1002/1097-4679(200012)56:12<1497::AID-2>3.0.CO;2-Z. 
  7. ^ Jason, LA and Fennell, P.A., Klein, S., Fricano, G., Halpert, J., Taylor, RR, (1999). An investigation of the different phases of the CFS illness. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 5(3/4); 25-53, doi:10.1300/J092v05n03_03
  8. ^ Van Hoof, E., Coomans, D., Cluydts, R. Association Between Fennell Phase Inventory Scores and Immune and RNase - L Parameters in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 2005;12(2) doi:10.1300/J092v12n02_03
  9. ^ Van Hoof, E., Coomans, D., Cluydts, R., De Meirleir, K. The Fennell Phase Inventory in a Belgian Sample. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 2004;12(1):53-69, doi:10.1300/J092v12n01_04
  10. ^ Reynolds NL, Brown MM, Jason LA (September 2009). "The relationship of Fennell phases to symptoms among patients with chronic fatigue syndrome". Eval Health Prof. 32 (3): 264–80. PMID 19696083. doi:10.1177/0163278709338558. 
  11. ^ Velicer, Wayne F.; Weiner, Irving B.; Freedheim, Donald K.; Schinka, John A. (2003). Handbook of psychology. New York: Wiley. p. 376. ISBN 0-471-38514-X. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  12. ^ Morris, Jeff (July, 2008). Strategies for Lifestyle Modification: Incorporating Age Management medicine Best Practices, e-Journal of Age Management Medicine
  13. ^ Royster L, Fennell P. Policy/Service/Troubleshooting: A three-pronged, integrated approach to chronic illness management for higher education institutions. Fourth Annual Chronic Illness and Postsecondary Education Symposium; DePaul University, May 2008. DePaul University: The Chronic Illness Initiative.
  14. ^ Royster L, Fennell P. Working With Students With Chronic Illness: A Problem-Solving Clinic. Fourth Annual Chronic Illness and Postsecondary Education Symposium; DePaul University, May 2008. DePaul University: The Chronic Illness Initiative.
  15. ^ a b c d FibroAction (2008-09-26). "Patricia Fennell joins FibroAction Professional Advisory Board" (aspx). Events. FibroAction UK. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  16. ^ Fennell, P.A. Managing Chronic Illness: The Four Phase Approach, John Wiley and Sons Inc., New York: 2003.
  17. ^ Encyclopedia of Social Work, Twentieth Edition. Eds.: Terry Mizrahi and Larry E. Davis, Oxford University Press, 2008
  18. ^ Fennell, Patricia A. (2001). The Chronic Illness Workbook: Strategies and Solutions for Taking Back Your Life. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 978-1-57224-264-7. 
  19. ^ Fennell, P.A. (1995). "CFS, The Four Progressive Stages of the CFS Experience: A Coping Tool for Patients". The Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 1 (3/4): 69–79. doi:10.1300/J092v01n03_11. 
  20. ^ Fennell, P.A. (1995). "CFS, Sociocultural Influences and Trauma: Clinical Considerations". The Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 1 (3/4): 159–173. doi:10.1300/J092v01n03_25. 
  21. ^ "Program keeps chronically ill students connected and on track". News. DePaul University. April 2, 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  22. ^ "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee Meeting" (PDF). Meeting Minutes. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. May 16–17, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  23. ^ Rice, J.S. and Fennell, P.A. (2008). Integrating Fennell's Four Phase Treatment Model Within Restorative Justice Practices to Address Trauma's Aftermath. Justice Connections. Issue 6, Summer 2008, pp. 1, 13-15.

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