Acceptance of psoriasis in the context of body image, body experience, and social support
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Department of Psychology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Department of Dermatology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Submission date: 2016-07-03
Acceptance date: 2016-09-09
Online publication date: 2017-01-31
Publication date: 2017-01-30
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(3):251–257
Acceptance of disease is an important determinant of quality of life in psoriasis patients. Social support and positive body image are considered important contributors to coping with the disease, but no studies have yet examined the role of body image and body experience in relation to psychological adjustment to psoriasis. We aimed to identify the role of biopsychosocial aspects – medical characteristics, body image, body experience, and social support – in acceptance of psoriasis.

Participants and procedure
The Berlin Social Support Scale, the Acceptance of Illness Scale, and the Body-Self Questionnaire (BSQ) were administered to 109 patients. Disease severity was measured with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI).

None of the investigated medical aspects were related to disease acceptance. Disease acceptance was associated with perceived social support (instrumental, informational, and emotional) and the following aspects of body experience and body image: lack of disturbances in perceiving, interpretation and regulation of emotions and physiological needs, appearance satisfaction, acceptance of biological sex, and fitness satisfaction. The acceptance of appearance and biological sex and social support were the best predictors, explaining 33% of the variance in disease acceptance (R2 = .33, F = 18.93).

Disease acceptance is independent of medical disease parameters, which demonstrates the limitations of the biomedical model in explaining the process of coping with psoriasis. Our findings demonstrate the buffering effect of social support, positive body image, and body experience against the negative consequences of psoriasis. Psychological intervention focused on body image and body experience enhancement can support psychological adjustment to disease.
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