Relationships of Health Behaviors with Stigma and Quality of Life Among Adolescent and Young Adult Patients with Cystic Fibrosis
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Honors Theses; 2012
Although new medications and treatments for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) have been developed during the past 20 years, behavioral components of medical treatment for CF have been relatively unexplored in prior research. Behavioral components that are critical for optimal health include compliance with medications and dietary recommendations, and regular physical exercise. Physicians prescribe treatment regimens to patients with CF, but relatively little is known about factors associated with performing the prescribed health-related behaviors. Of particular interest are psychosocial factors that may influence behavioral compliance including self-efficacy (perceived ability to adapt to disease), perceived stigma (influence of perceived negative reactions from peer group), and quality of life (adaptation to illness in both mental and physical domains). It was hypothesized that patients who exercise regularly, adhere to medications and treatments, and maintain healthy dietary habits would report higher quality of life, less perceived stigma, and better overall health than those who were not compliant with behavioral recommendations. Fifty adolescents and young adults (mean age = 19.2 years; age range: 15 to 25 years) with CF were recruited from an outpatient hospital-based clinic. Participants completed self-report measures of self-efficacy, stigma, and quality of life, as well as measures of compliance with prescribed medications, exercise behavior, and dietary behavior. Higher self-reported medication adherence was associated with better overall quality of life (r=0.27; p= 0.059). In addition, perceived stigma was associated with greater levels of activity (r=0.37, p=0.013). Thus, there was a trend for adherence to be associated with better quality of life. Surprisingly, greater levels of activity were associated with more perceived stigma. However, this may result from active individuals being exposed to more experiences with peers that may be stigmatizing. It will be important to identify strategies to help reduce or avoid perceived stigma among active patients with CF.