ORIGINAL PAPER
Determinants of acceptance of an illness in the case of patients suffering from psoriasis treated in the hospital and outpatient clinic settings
 
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Institute of Psychology, University of Łódz, Łódź, Poland
Submission date: 2014-12-20
Final revision date: 2015-01-18
Acceptance date: 2015-01-22
Online publication date: 2015-09-30
Publication date: 2015-09-30
 
Health Psychology Report 2016;4(1):54–64
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Psoriasis is one of the most commonly occurring cutaneous conditions. In connection with its chronic character, and with the presence of defacing pathological changes on the skin, this medical condition reduces the quality of life in the physical, mental and social aspects. It is also an illness whose course is substantially influenced by psychological factors. The level of acceptance of an illness in the case of psoriasis patients may exert a significant influence on their level of adjustment to their medical condition and psycho-social functioning. The objective of this research was to estimate the level of acceptance of the illness, and to determine the correlations between acceptance of the illness and the way in which it is perceived, the exacerbation of symptoms, and the health locus of control in groups of patients with psoriasis treated in the hospital and outpatient clinic settings.

Participants and procedure
The research included a group of 61 patients suffering from psoriasis. The following research tools were applied: the Acceptance of Illness Scale (AIS), the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC), the Disease Rating Scale (DRS), the Self-Administered Psoriasis Area Severity Index (SAPASI), and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).

Results
The studied patients accepted their illness to an average degree. No significant differences were found for that variable between the studied individuals treated in the hospital setting and those treated in the outpatient clinic setting. In the group of hospitalized patients, the perception of the illness in the categories of a threat, harm, life balance disturbance and an obstacle/a loss was negatively correlated with the acceptance of it. In the group of patients treated in the outpatient clinic setting, the assessment of the illness in the categories of a threat and harm, and the subjective assessment of exacerbation of symptoms of the illness, measured using the VAS, were negatively correlated, whereas being convinced that the health locus of control was located internally was positively correlated with acceptance of the illness. The perception of an illness as an obstacle and being convinced that the health locus of control is the internal one make it possible to predict the degree of acceptance of an illness in the case of patients suffering from psoriasis.

Conclusions
Planning psychological influences, and wanting to understand the functioning of individuals suffering from psoriasis better, it is recommendable to concentrate upon the understanding of the possible modification of the way in which the individuals in question assess their own illness, and also their own influence upon their state of health.
 
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