The relationship between illness representations, alexithymia, coping strategies and subjective well-being among persons with asthma

Shiri Shinan-Altman, Keren Or Katzav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In order to examine subjective well-being (SWB) among persons with asthma, most of the existing studies have focused on disease-related variables or concentrated on illness representations, alexithymia and coping, making it difficult to determine whether the relationship between illness representations, alexithymia, coping and SWB is just an artifact of the disease’s severity. Objective: Based on the Self-Regulation Model, this study aimed to examine the interrelationships between the disease’s characteristics (annual mean of asthma attacks, preventive treatment), illness representations, alexithymia, coping strategies and SWB among persons with asthma. Methods: A convenience sample of 208 persons with asthma completed measures of the disease’s characteristics (annual mean of asthma attacks, preventive treatment), illness representations (identity, causes, timeline, consequences, control, coherence, emotional representations), alexithymia, coping strategies, SWB, and socio-demographic questionnaires. A hierarchical multiple regression was calculated with SWB as the dependent variable. Results: The regression model was found significant (F(14, 133) = 6.42, p < 0.001), explaining 34% of the variance in SWB. Higher levels of alexithymia, identity, cause and emotional representations and lower levels of control were related to lower levels of SWB. The addition of coping strategies did not add to the explained variance of SWB. Conclusion: This study contributes to a better understanding of the determinants of SWB among persons with asthma. The findings indicate that clinical interventions targeting persons with asthma illness representations and alexithymia may assist persons with asthma to improve their SWB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-938
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Volume58
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Alexithymia
  • asthma
  • coping strategies
  • illness representations
  • subjective well-being

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