Beliefs about sharing illness experiences in chronic fatigue syndrome: the role of interpersonal trust and personality
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University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri, United States
Submission date: 2020-03-03
Final revision date: 2020-07-23
Acceptance date: 2020-08-23
Online publication date: 2020-09-28
Publication date: 2020-09-28
Health Psychology Report 2020;8(4):435–444
Disclosure of illness and illness experiences can be complicated for patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome due to the stigma associated with the illness. In this study, we evaluate the psychometric properties of the Beliefs about Sharing Illness Experiences (BASIE) scale in chronic fatigue patients. In addition, we inves-tigate whether interpersonal trust and personality characteristics predict self-disclosure in chronic fatigue pa-tients.

Participants and procedure:
The research was carried out in Rasht City, Iran. Participants were patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (N = 280) who were referred to Rasht pain management clinics in 2019. The psychometric properties of the BASIE scale were evaluated using content validity (CVI and CVR), exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirma-tory factor analysis (CFA), and Cronbach’s α. In addition, Pearson’s correlation and multiple regression were used to test the roles of interpersonal trust and personality in predicting willingness to share illness experiences in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

A CVI of .91 and CVR of .92 showed strong content validly for the BASIE scale. EFA and CFA supported a two-factor structure of the instrument. The Cronbach’s α of .94 confirmed strong reliability. Multiple regression anal-ysis revealed that positive beliefs about sharing illness experiences were predicted by higher interpersonal trust, higher extraversion, and lower neuroticism.

The BASIE scale appears to be an appropriate tool for measuring chronic fatigue syndrome patients’ beliefs about sharing illness experiences. Also, interpersonal trust, extraversion, and neuroticism play important roles in sharing illness experiences. These findings may be helpful in the management of chronic fatigue syndrome and other stigmatized illnesses.

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