Objective: This study aimed to explore illness representations and attitudes about personal recovery in physical and mental health conditions in a lay sample. Design: 263 participants took part in an experimental study using vignettes describing the symptoms of four conditions: depression, schizophrenia, psoriasis and Type 1 diabetes. The within group factor was condition type (physical and mental health). The between groups factor was duration of symptoms (two weeks/ 'acute' or one year/ 'chronic'). Measures: Participants completed the lllness Perception Questionnaire - Revised for Healthy Individuals (Figueiras & Alves, 2007) and questions regarding their attitudes about the importance of personal attributes, such as optimism and resilience, in recovery (,personal recovery'). Results: The inter-relationship of illness representations followed some of the general patterns found in previous research. Participants attributed mental health vignettes to more psychosocial causes and placed more importance on personal recovery than they did for physical health vignettes, although there were some interaction effects of chronicity. Personal recovery attitudes positively correlated with psychosocial causes in all conditions and perceived personal control in all conditions except diabetes. Conclusion: Preliminary evidence was found that lay attitudes about personal attributes being important for recovery was more endorsed in mental health than physical health conditions and was related to perceptions of personal control and psychosocial causes of illness.
|University of Surrey
|Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
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