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Title: Causal attributions, worry and myocardial infarction
Author: Dulku, Amarjit
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2002
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Although previous research has pointed to worry as one of the highest causal attributions reported by MI patients, no studies have primarily investigated the concept of worry in this cohort. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of pathological worry in MI patients who reported worry as a causal factor to their MI (Experimental group), compared to MI patients that did not implicate worry as a causal attribute (Control group). A central hypothesis to this study was that higher pathological worry would be found in the Experimental group, and would be significantly associated with meta-worry (worry about worry), rather than health worry. The design was cross-sectional, and consisted of administering self-report questionnaires to a total of 34 post-MI patients (n=17 in each group). The questionnaire measured: pathological worry, meta-worry, anxiety, depression, and thought control strategies. Participants in the Experimental group were found to be significantly younger than the Control group, and a higher proportion were employed. The main results indicated that no differences were found between the two groups in terms of worries relating to their health. However, pathological worry, meta-worry, social worry, anxiety and the use of thought control strategies were significantly higher in the Experimental group, compared with the Control group. Interestingly, none of the participants (N=34) reported symptoms of depression at a clinical level. Further analysis revealed that pathological worry significant correlated with meta-worry and the thought control strategy known as 'Punishment'. In conclusion MI patients who rated worry highly as causal to their MI were also found to be more pathologically worried after their MI than participants who implicated physical factors as causal attributes. However, this pathological worry was not related to worry about health, but was regarded as a coping response that is best understood from a metacognitive model of a generalised anxiety disorder.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available