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Title: Psychological adjustment to physical illness
Author: Goble, Chloe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 5680
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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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 (ΔR² = .17), depression (ΔR² = .18) and mental well-being (ΔR² = .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 (ΔR² = .16) and depression (ΔR² = .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.
Supervisor: Norman, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available