Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Development of a Questionnaire to Evaluate Coping Strategies for Skin Problems

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Development of a Questionnaire to Evaluate Coping Strategies for Skin Problems

Article excerpt

The aim of this work was to develop an instrument (Coping Strategies for Skin Problems Questionnaire) suitable for identifying the coping strategies people use for general skin problems. We analyzed its psychometric properties when applied to a sample of 299 individuals. Factor analysis shows a 6-factor structure referring to the wish to change, problem-solving strategies, the search for information and asking for social support, the ability to distance oneself from the problem and to see the positive aspects of the situation. These factors explain 60.77% of the variance and show an internal consistency higher than 0.67. We analyse the validity of the questionnaire and identify different coping profiles depending on the degree of skin damage as assessed by the participants and their search for health services. According to the psychometric properties obtained, we conclude that our instrument is valid and reliable for use with people presenting skin problems.

Keywords: coping strategies, questionnaire, skin problems, validity

El objetivo de este trabajo es desarrollar un instrumento (Cuestionario de Estrategias de Afrontamiento ante problemas de la piel) para identificar las estrategias de afrontamiento que se utilizan frente a problemas dermatológicos. Se analiza sus propiedades psicométricas, aplicado a una muestra de 299 personas. El análisis factorial mostró una estructura en seis factores que hacen referencia a deseos de cambio, estrategias de solución del problema, búsqueda de apoyo social y de información, capacidad de distanciarse y de considerar los aspectos positivos de la situación. Estos factores explican el 60.77% de la varianza y muestran consistencias internas superiores a 0.67. Se analiza la validez del cuestionario, obteniendo perfiles de afrontamiento distintos en función del daño en la piel valorado por los participantes y la realización de consultas profesionales. Las propiedades psicométricas obtenidas permiten concluir que el instrumento evaluado es válido y fiable para personas que presentan alteraciones en la piel.

Palabras clave: estrategias de afrontamiento, cuestionario, problemas dermatológicos, validez

Skin conditions have a strong influence on daily routines, self-esteem, and quality of life. Skin problems such as psoriasis, acne, baldness or onychomycosis give rise to serious functional and psychosocial problems that tend to persist (Badía, Mascaró & Lozano, 1999; Drake et al., 1999; Niemeier, Kupfer, Demmelbaueer-Ebner, Stangier, Effendy & Gieler, 1998). For some authors, the effects on quality of life are directly related to the severity and duration of the problem (Drake et al., 1999; Mazzotti, Picardi, Sampogna, Sera, Pasquín & Abeni, 2003). For others, however, the influence of dermatological diseases on well-being is modulated by the coping strategies people use to manage the stress produced by the pathology and its treatment (Miller & Cronan, 1998; Schmid-Ott et al., 2005). The aim of this work was to develop an instrument that would allow us to identify coping strategies used by people with dermatological problems in general.

Lazarus and Folkman (1986) defined coping as "constantly changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to manage, reduce or tolerate external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person" (p. 164). Coping has been conceptualized as a trait or a personal style for dealing with stress, as well as a process. When coping is viewed as a trait it refers to those thinking patterns and actions an individual habitually uses to solve problems, and people are classified according to their own usual coping styles. Thus, coping style is understood as the personal disposition towards dealing with potentially stressful agents (Byrne, 1964; Kohlmann, 1993; Penley, Tomaka & Wieve, 2002). From this perspective, measurement procedures involve presenting subjects with a set of sentences that express the kind of thoughts and behaviour people use when facing problems, and then asking them about the extent to which they use these ways of coping. …

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