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Title: Adaptation to Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Author: Matini, Lawrence
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 1187
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe two chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's Disease (CD). Although the efficacy of treatment is continuously improving, Quality of Life (QoL) in this illness population remains low with many patients suffering from psychological and psychiatric comorbidities. Psychological interventions aimed at improving outcomes in these patients have largely demonstrated little improvement. This thesis argues that this may be the result of poor understanding of the experience of living with this condition with too little focus on the adaptation of the patient to their illness. This thesis aimed to address this gap in the literature through four empirical studies. Firstly, Study 1 used a qualitative design to (n = 22) to explore the lived experiences of patients with IBD and to conceptualise adaptation to IBD. The results highlighted the importance of making sense of the illness and the impact and feelings associated with the illness. This was transcended by a notion of uncertainty which was resolved by employing coping mechanisms to restore equilibrium between their identity before and after diagnosis, resulting in a 'new normal'. Study 2 then employed a cross-sectional design (n = 307) to develop a new measure of adaptation to IBD (the A-IBD) which after psychometric analysis revealed four subscales including person identity, patient identity, acceptance and expectations. This study also explored the degree of association of the A-IBD with existing measures of sense making (BIPQ) and QoL (IBDQ), to assess the ability of the A-IBD in predicting QoL and ascertain whether it could predict QoL over and above sense making. The results suggested the A-IBD was not synonymous with these constructs and had utility as a predictor of QoL even when accounting for the predictive ability of the BIPQ. Finally, Study 3 used a combination of qualitative and quantitative design (n = 16). Patients scoring in the top and bottom 25% of the A-IBD from Study 2 completed the measure again to assess the dynamic nature of adaptation and were interviewed about the factors that either encouraged or inhibited their degree of adaptation. This analysis revealed that adaptation is indeed dynamic, and that antecedents of adaptation include 'engagement', 'resilience' and certain 'contingencies' including disease and social factors. Overall, the findings from this thesis indicate that the treatment of IBD must be approached in a biopsychosocial manner, that adaptation can be measured effectively with the new tool and that adaptation, with an emphasis on the notion of person, not patient, predicts quality of life.
Supervisor: Ogden, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available