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Title: The relationship of coping and social support to distress in couples where one partner has multiple sclerosis
Author: Carr, Elaine
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic and progressive disease with an estimated prevalence of 116 cases per 100,000 adults in England and Wales and 158 cases per 100,000 in Scotland (Swingler, Rothwell, Taylor, & Hall 1994). Although the psychological consequences of MS on the individual are well established, little is known about the psychological impact of this condition on the partner's well being. Researchers have indicated that carers, particularly spouses, experience significant levels of stress, when caring for a partner with a chronic illness. While it is commonplace to assess either patient or carer individually in terms of psychiatric morbidity, little research has been conducted into the psychological effects of chronic illness on couples. This was the focus of the present study. Although coping and social support have been found to be important in moderating the impact of stress in both patients and carers at the individual level of analysis, little is known about how these strategies operate in couples facing chronic illness. The present study examines the role of coping and social support and their relationship to distress in 42 couples where one partner has MS. Illness characteristics such as length of diagnosis, level of disability were also examined. Results are discussed in terms of how couples manage the impact of the illness, and what procedures can be put in place to ensure that the needs of both patient and partner-carer are met.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available