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Psychological Adjustment to Physical Illness

goble, chloe (2010) Psychological Adjustment to Physical Illness. DClinPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Aims: Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) experience higher rates of emotional disorders than comparison groups with similar levels of disability. More information is needed regarding the differences between individual reactions to conditions such as MS. The present study examined the extent to which the theory of cognitive adaptation (TCA) can explain variance in psychological adjustment among patients with MS. Method: At time 1, 112 participants with MS completed measures of the TCA variables (i.e., meaning, mastery, self-enhancement and optimism), anxiety, depression and quality of life. Three months later, 94 participants completed measures of anxiety, depression and quality of life. Results: Optimism explained significant amounts of variance in time 1 anxiety (∆R2 = .17), depression (∆R2 = .18) and mental well-being (∆R2 = .12), but failed to explain significant variance in time 2 adjustment. The situated TCA variables explained significant amounts of additional variance in time 1 anxiety (∆R2 = .16) and depression (∆R2 = .12) over and above optimism, but failed to explain significant variance in time 2 adjustment. Finally, the situated TCA variables mediated the effect of optimism on anxiety, depression and mental well-being at time 1 but not time 2. Conclusions: Partial support was found for the TCA cross-sectionally but not prospectively. In addition, contrary to the TCA, benefit finding was found to be related to poorer psychological adjustment prospectively. Future research could investigate the role of benefit finding in adjustment to provide insight into the range of alternative explanations. The clinical implications of the study are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Chloe Goble
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2011 12:08
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1142

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