Handbook of Health Psychology

By Andrew Baum; Tracey A. Revenson et al. | Go to book overview

21
Adjustment to Chronic Illness:
Theory and Research
Annette L. Stanton
Charlotte A. Collins
Lisa A. Sworowski
University of Kansas

There are only two health outcomes that are of importance. First, there is life expectancy. Second, there is function or quality of life during the years that people are alive

—Kaplan (1990, p. 1218)

Most people confront chronic disease, if not in themselves then in those they love. Indeed, more than 50% of deaths in the United States are attributable to cardiovascular disease and malignant neoplasms alone. In addition to their interest in decreasing mortality, health psychologists are dedicated to aiding those who live with chronic disease maintain fulfilling lives. Health psychologists and others have devoted intense energy to identifying psychosocial and behavioral contributors to and consequences of chronic disease. This chapter provides an analysis of current knowledge regarding psychological adjustment to chronic conditions.

Researchers have conducted hundreds of empirical studies to enhance understanding of adaptation to chronic illness. The present literature review focused on pertinent studies of adults with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatic diseases (particularly rheumatoid arthritis), and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which are conditions that comprise significant causes of mortality and morbidity and have received substantial empirical attention by researchers in health psychology and related fields. The aim is not to review this voluminous literature in detail. Rather, the focus is on crosscutting issues in the conceptualization of adjustment to these conditions, as well as extant theories and empirical findings regarding determinants of adjustment to chronic illness. Further, the discussion concentrates on individual adult adjustment, and the reader is referred to relevant literatures on adjustment to chronic disease in children (e.g., Roberts, 1995), intimate partners (e.g., Revenson, 1994), and families (e.g., Kerns, 1995).


CONCEPTUALIZING ADJUSTMENT
TO CHRONIC DISEASE

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I forget for a moment that I have cancer. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks and I think, “Will I live to see my little girl graduate from college.?” Who wouldn't have these fears?

The doctor brought the psychologist with him when I got my diagnosis. He thought I would fall apart at my third diagnosis of cancer. I figure I'll get rid of it and go on, just like I've done the last two times.

So much positive has come from my experience with cancer. But I've also never been so scared or angry or sad in my life.

I have cancer but it doesn't have me.

-387-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook of Health Psychology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 962

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.