Posttraumatic stress disorder and posttraumatic growth in HIV-infected patients – the role of coping strategies
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Institute of Psychology, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
District Psychological and Pedagogical Outpatients Clinic, Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
Submission date: 2016-07-03
Final revision date: 2016-09-08
Acceptance date: 2016-10-01
Online publication date: 2017-07-07
Publication date: 2017-06-07
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(4):323-332
The purpose of the research was to establish the role of coping strategies in the occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) in HIV-infected individuals.

Participants and procedure
The study was conducted on 25 female and 39 male patients with HIV+ status and applied three questionnaires based on the self-report method. PTSD was assessed with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), PTG with the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), and the Brief version of Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced (Mini-Cope) was used for assessing coping strategies.

The data showed that half of the examined HIV+ group express a high intensity of PTSD symptoms and a majority of subjects have a medium or high intensity of PTG. Significant relationships were revealed between avoidance-focused strategies and the negative effects of HIV infection. Surprisingly, active coping strategy positively correlated with overall results of the IES-R and was found to be a predictor of PTSD symptoms. The seeking emotional support strategy was positively correlated with PTG and was considered as the leading predictor of overall PTG. The turning to religion strategy and acceptance were also positively correlated with posttraumatic growth.

Avoidance-focused strategies foster PTSD symptoms, while emotion-focused strategies seem to lead to posttraumatic growth.
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