Living with chronic illness

— coping, resources and perceived quality of life

The overall aim of the project is to describe patients and relatives experiences of living with chronic illness in relation to their ability to manage their daily lives over time. In addition, the aim is to describe how health professionals can support patients with chronic illness and their relatives' in making use of their resources.

The specific aims

Study 1 and 2: The aim of the studies is to follow patients with chronic illness and their relatives over time (1 year) and to describe how they handle their life with respect to internal and external resources for maintaining/improving their well-being/quality of life (QoL) as well as to understand the relationship between internal and external resources and QoL.

Study 3 and 4: The aim of the studies is to describe patients’ and relatives’ experiences of living with chronic illness.

Study 5: The aim of the study is to describe how health professionals can support patients with chronic illness and their relatives in making use of their internal and external resources to manage their lives.


Methods

Questionnaires will be used in study 1 (patients) and study 2 (relatives). In study 3 and 4, patients and relatives, respectively, will be interviewed about their experiences of living with chronic illness. In study 5, health professionals will be interviewed about how they can support patients and relatives in dealing with everyday life. The project is expected to identify coping strategies and resources that promote health and to produce practical knowledge valuable in the clinical practice. Data collection for study 1 and 2 has been conducted during 2011-2014. Data collection for study 3 and 4 will start during 2015.

Preliminary results

In our pilot study (1) on coping, coping resources and QoL in patients with heart and renal failure, we found no significant differences between the groups regarding the study variables. However, positive correlations were found between Sense of Coherence (SOC), General Self-Efficacy (GSE) and QoL (SF-36), whereas negative correlations emerged between emotion-focused coping, SOC, GSE and QoL. SOC, GSE and emotional-focused coping explained 40% of the variance in QoL. The results of our pilot study correspond with previous research findings.

However, positive correlations were found between Sense of Coherence (SOC), General Self-Efficacy (GSE) and QoL (SF-36), whereas negative correlations emerged between emotion-focused coping, SOC, GSE and QoL. SOC, GSE and emotional-focused coping explained 40% of the variance in QoL. The results of our pilot study correspond with previous research findings.

Reference

1. Kristofferzon M-L, Lindqvist R, Nilsson A. Relationships between coping, coping resources and quality of life in patients with chronic illness: a pilot study. Scand J Caring Sci, 2011; 25: 476–483.

Researcher

Marja-Leena Kristofferzon, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Gävle
Annika Nilsson, PhD, University of Gävle

Published by: Zara Lindahl Page responsible: Annika Strömberg Updated: 2017-11-30
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