ORIGINAL PAPER
Illness perception and perceived benefits of illness among persons with type 1 diabetes
 
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1
Faculty of Health Sciences with the Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
2
Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Katarzyna Nowicka-Sauer   

Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2022-02-24
Final revision date: 2022-09-02
Acceptance date: 2022-09-12
Online publication date: 2022-11-14
 
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Illness perception is assigned an increasing role in the control of chronic disease. This study examines illness perception and perceived benefits related to illness in persons with type 1 diabetes mellitus. We used quantitative and qualitative methods for a more in-depth analysis.

Participants and procedure:
The participants (N = 110; mean age: 31.52 years; 80.9% women) completed online questionnaires: the Brief Illness Percep-tion Questionnaire (B-IPQ), the perceived benefits subscale of the Illness Cognition Questionnaire (ICQ) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyze patients’ re-sponses to an open-ended question regarding perceived benefits.

Results:
Perceived benefits score was positively correlated with personal (ρ = .20) and treatment control: life-style (ρ = .25) and co-herence (ρ = .22). Negative correlations were noted between B-IPQ total score (ρ = –.30), concern (ρ = –.30), depression (ρ = –.35), anxiety (ρ = –.32) and irritability (ρ = –.19). 52.7% of participants reported at least one benefit of having type 1 diabetes. Patients who reported at least one benefit had statistically significantly higher scores in the perceived benefits subscale (p < .001), personal control (p = .005) and treatment control (p = .030) and lower scores in consequences (p = .023), identity (p = .045), concern (p < .001), emotional response (p < .001), and illness perception total score (p < .001) than those who did not report any benefit. IPA revealed four main themes: personal benefits, health-related benefits, social contacts and economic benefits.

Conclusions:
The study revealed that in patients with type 1 diabetes perceived disease benefits are closely related to more positive illness perception and lower levels of depression, anxiety and irritability. The findings suggest that addressing potential benefits related to illness may influence the emotional state.

 
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