Personality and coping in patients with chronic diseases  

Kerekes Z., Tiringer I., Netling I., Toth M., Bors P., Palfi I.
First author's affiliation: University of Pécs, Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Pécs, Hungary

Patients with chronic diseases may suffer from variety of problems (effects of the disease itself, the therapy, psychosocial consequences). The proposal of this investigation is to find out whether there are any personality factors which can play important part in coping with cancer, cardiac diseases (myocardial infarct) psoriasis and IBD (includes M. Crohn and colitis ulcerosa). During the investigation we used the standardized, self-report versions of TCI, BDI and FKV-LIS questionnaires. 38 people were diagnosed with psoriasis, 42 with cancer, 50 with myocardial infarct, 26 patients with IBD. We also have data from 39 healthy control persons corrected by age and sex according to the patient groups. We found that depressive coping strategy, active and problem-focused coping were significantly higher in psoriasis group, than in the control. Active, problem-focused coping was the most significant coping style in all patients groups, most of all in the cancer patients group. We can determine that in the IBD as well in psoriasis and cancer group the Harm Avoidance TCI factor had a higher value than in the control group and the Self-directedness and Cooperativeness factors were lower. In the psoriasis group the Novelty Seeking is lower than in IBD and in control group, but the Cooperativeness was similar to the IBD group. Cancer patients have the highest Self-transcendence. Besides the personality differences, the patient’s depression rate is also an important factor for coping with the illnesses. The BDI results show a higher level of depression rate in IBD and psoriasis group. Obviously further investigation on higher patient number and longitudinal design is necessary to map the differences more adequately in the future.