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June 2022

A structure of self-conceptions and illness conceptions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Author(s): Berglund, K., Sahlberg, D.

Journal/Book: J Psychosom Res. 1996; 40: The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England OX5 1GB. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 535-549.

Abstract: In 2 independent samples of RA patients, a large pool of self-reported illness experiences were statistically examined for content and structure of common types of self-conceptions and illness conceptions related to living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Multivariate analyses revealed 7 primary factors in both samples. Three constituted a positive continuum (fighting spirit, acceptance, revaluation), and 3 a negative (deprivation of life values, protest, reserved). The 7th factor (denial) was weaker and conceptually intermediate. The obtained factors contained many items similar to those in other established psychological instruments used in research on RA, but showed stronger relations to subjective well being (mood) than any one of these. Disease indicators correlated only weakly with RA self-conceptions (RASC) and mood. The RASC factors appear to more broadly reflect different facets of positive and negative ways of individual experience of living with RA than other published instruments. They were tentatively interpreted as RA-specific expressions of dispositions towards positive and negative affect, respectively.

Note: Article LO Persson, Gothenburg Coll Hlth Sci, Dept Nursing, Billerudsgatan 1, S-41675 Gothenburg, Sweden

Keyword(s): illness behavior; mood; personality; rheumatoid arthritis; PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT; DEPRESSION; STRESS; PERSONALITY; DISABILITY; HEALTH; HELPLESSNESS; DIMENSIONS; EFFICACY; OPTIMISM


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