Chronic illness

Unexpectedly, coping strategies did not contribute to either illness disclosure ore general well-being in IBD patients. However, illness severity itself contributes significantly to both illness disclosure and general well-being. Hierarchical regression analyses are therefore conducted to examine whether illness severity predicts illness disclosure and general well-being beyond the set of coping styles. As a result, r-value increased to . 41, which represented a significant increase of . 114 (11. 4%) in the explained variance (p < . 001).

The second regression model which incorporated illness severity with coping styles was significant [F (6, 96) = 3. 15, p < . 05]. This suggested that illness severity predicted illness disclosure incrementally above the coping styles. In the second regression model, the correlation between each predictor (5 coping styles and illness severity) and the criterion (illness disclosure) indicated that only illness severity highly significantly contributed to illness disclosure (. 35, p < . 001). A hierarchical regression was also performed to assess coping strategies and illness severity, in connection to IBD patients’ general well-being.

The addition of illness severity to the regression model resulted in a significant increase in explained variances for both two respects of general well-being (4. 5% and 4. 7% increases for ‘worn-out’ and ‘up-tight’ factors respective, both p < . 05). However, no significant regression models were found. It therefore appeared that illness severity did not have any additional predictive effect on general well-being to the set of coping styles.In terms of the correlation between each predictor and general well-being, while all the other predictors were controlled, both ‘seeking emotional social support’ (1 = . 26, p < . 05;  2 = . 27, p < . 05) and illness severity ( 1 = . 22, p < . 05;  2 = . 22, p < . 05) contributed significantly to IBD patients’ perception of general well-being. This indicated that IBD patients who were more likely to seek for emotional support and obtained higher illness severity tended to feel more worn-out as well as up-tight (i. e. , poorer general well-being). 5. Predictive effects of coping strategies and social support satisfaction on illness disclosure and general well-being (Appendix 6)

Both illness severity and social support satisfaction contributed independently to IBD patients’ disclosure of their illness and their perception of general well-being. Illness severity also predicted incrementally to illness disclosure but not to general well-being above the set of coping styles, so does social support satisfaction predict the two criteria beyond the set of coping styles? Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the addition of social support to the regression model did no lead to a significant increase in explained variance in illness disclosure (p = .08) and it did not have any additional contribution to illness disclosure [F (7, 93) = 1. 73, p = . 11].

Moreover, higher average practical support discrepancy (i. e. , lower practical support satisfaction) resulted in higher illness disclosure (i?? = -. 24, p < . 05). The addition of social support satisfaction to the set of coping styles when predicting IBD patients’ perception of general well-being resulted in a significant increase in the explained variance of feelings of worn-out (12. 1%, p < . 005) and a nearly significant increase in explained variance of feelings of up-tight (6%, p = . 054).

However, social support in combination only significantly contributed to feelings of worn-out incrementally above the set of coping styles [F (7, 89) = 2. 86, p < . 01]. The correlation between each predictor and the criterion indicated that the more IBD patients choose ‘seeking emotional social support’ as their coping strategy, the more they feel worn-out ( 28, p < . 05) as well as up-tight (i?? = . 25, p < . 05). Moreover, the higher average emotional social support discrepancy (i. e. , the lower satisfaction), the more IBD patients feel worn-out (i?? = . 33, p < . 05) and up-tight (31, p < . 05).

Taken collectively, both ‘seeking emotional social support’ and emotional social support satisfaction contributed significantly to IBD patients’ perception of general well-being. To conclude, chronic illness presents unique challenges for IBD patients at work, as the illness severity, coping strategies, and received social support all influence the possibility of illness disclosure at workplace and perceived general well-being. The way people choose to manage information about their illness is critical to maintaining reputation as a competent actor in the workplace environment.

Higher illness severity increase illness disclosure, and illness disclosure is associated with social support satisfaction. Higher illness severity leads to poor perception of general well-being, general well-being is also associated with social support received from significant others. 6. The relationship between illness disclosure and general well-being (Appendix 7) Illness disclosure did not correlate to IBD patients’ feelings of worn-out (r = . 14, p = . 16), neither did it correlate to their feelings of up-tight (r = . 08, p = . 43).

Taken together, illness disclosure was not associated with general well-being. This patterns of results contradict to previous research in the way that failure to disclose illness concerns was found to be associated with low emotional well-being (Figueiredo, et al. , 2003). Moreover, when examining disclosure of HIV status and mental health consequences of such disclosure, Zea et al. (2005) found that disclosure resulted in greater social support, which in turn had positive effects on (psychological) well-being. However, IBD patients who felt worn-out were significantly more likely to feel up-tight (r = 78, p < . 001).

This is not surprising as feelings of worn-out and uptight together determines people’s level of stress (Cox & Griffiths, 1995).


Beatty, J. E. (2004). Chronic illness at invisible diversity: Disclosing and coping with illness in the workplace. Ph. D. Dissertation, Boston College, Massachusetts, United States. Bertella, L. , Mori, I. , Grugni, R. , et al. (2007). Quality of life and psychological well-being in GH-treated, adult PWS patients: A longitudinal study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(4), 302-311.

Cox, T. & Griffiths, A. (1995). The nature and measurement of work stress: theory and practice. In Wilson, J. & Corlett, N. (Eds. ) The evaluation of human work: A practical ergonomics methodology. London: Taylor & Francis. Drossman, D. A. (1996). The role of psychosocial factors in gastrointestinal illness. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl, 31, 1-4. Figueiredo, M. I. , Fries, E. , Ingram, K. M. (2003). The role of disclosure patterns and unsupportive social interactions in the well-being of breast cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology, 13(2), 96-105.

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