They hypothesized that there was a significant possibility that the use of an adaptive coping style could alter some illness variables in a positive direction. They also hoped to discover relationships between specific coping styles and illness variables to help predict individual reactions to the disease and thereby provide the most effective physical and psychological treatment (Alberts, Lyons, & Anderson, 1988).
They identified five main illness variables: 1) Demographic factors such as age, sex, and duration of illness; 2) Perception of illness quality, including improvement or deterioration; 3) Perceived effectiveness of treatment; 4) Amount of lifestyle changes caused by the illness; and 5) Satisfaction with interpersonal relationships. These illness variables were assessed by questionnaire and was examined in relation to the eight coping styles in the Millon Behavioral Health Inventory, which includes the forceful, respectful, confident, sensitive, sociable, cooperative, introversive, and inhibited types (Alberts, Lyons, & Anderson, 1988).
The forceful and confident styles represent Type A coping responses, focussed on overt problem-solving. The sensitive, sociable, and cooperative styles are essentially Type B, or emotion-focussed, coping responses. The introversive, inhibited, and respectful styles are equivalent to the Type C coping response, in which the sufferer takes no action, seemingly hoping that the problem will just go away on its own.
The illness variable questionnaire and Millon Behavioral Health Inventory were given to 19 male and 19 female adult subjects with chronic ulcerative colitis. An analysis of the interactions of the illness variables and coping styles showed that although there was no single coping style characteristic of all patients, it was possible to identify the most and least common styles, and the most and least effective styles (by which I mean the most or least conducive to overall...
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