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Trajectories of Coping with Illness

Trajectories of Coping with Illness

principal investigator
Aleksandra Kroemeke
Ph.D.

psycholog, zajmuje się kliniczną psychologią zdrowia

Full bio
project value: PLN 347,990
funding source : National Science Center
discipline: psychology
research center: Institute of Psychology
location: Warsaw
duration: 201920182017201620152014

The stress of coping with a serious or chronic illness impacts not only the patient, but also their family. The family worries about their loved one and must juggle their daily work and home responsibilities with taking care of the patient. The stress of coping with illness is especially prominent in the patient-partner relationship. A team of researchers from SWPS University, under the guidance of psychologist, Dr. Aleksandra Kroemeke, is working on a research project that will provide new information concerning the process of coping with illness in patient-partner dyads, which will contribute to the field of health psychology.

 

RESEARCH PROJECT

Trajectories of Coping with Illness

Multilevel Analysis in Patient-Partner Dyads

Research UnitUNI SWPS english
Grant Amount  347 990 PLN
Funding SourceNCN logo poziom en2

Duration of Research Project: May 2014 – November 2017

 

The stress of coping with a serious or chronic illness impacts not only the patient, but also their family. The family worries about their loved one and must juggle daily responsibilities and taking care of the patient. The stress of coping with illness is especially prominent in the patient-partner relationship. A team of researchers from SWPS University, under the guidance of psychologist, Dr. Aleksandra Kroemeke, is working on a research project that will provide new information concerning the process of coping with illness in patient-partner dyads. The data from the study will contribute to the field of health psychology.

By verification of the stress model, the project will help to understand the mechanisms of the coping process in couples. It will allow to identify intra-individual variability, i.e. how the partners cope as a couple, as opposed to the research that has been done to date, which has only looked at the partners as separate individuals and evaluated differences between persons in terms of coping with illness and stress in general.

Project Details

Project Objectives

Stress is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the modern world, therefore behaviors in stressful situations, referred to in psychology as ‘coping’, are a common form of human activity. Despite numerous long-term psychological studies in this field, we still do not know which coping behaviors are successful and what mechanisms underlie them.

The goal of this project is to find the answer to this question by identifying the trajectories of coping with stress brought on by a somatic illness and determining their mechanisms i.e., causes and consequences. It is assumed that the key to this research is testing of bidirectional dynamic relationships between the variables of the coping process: individual (specific self-efficacy) and social (social support) resources as well as coping strategies, emotions (positive and negative), and somatic symptoms.

The research perspective will include the interpersonal context: the study of patient-partner dyads. This will enable the researchers to determine how convictions, emotions and behaviors of one of the partners impact the thoughts, emotions and activities of the other partner, in difficult situations. A serious somatic illness often creates very good conditions for the study of stress and coping phenomena, in natural settings and in an interpersonal context.

The stress of coping with a serious or chronic illness impacts not only the patient, but also their partner. Our study will help to develop assistance programs for cancer patients and their families.

Kroemeke, Aleksandra Principal Investigator
Bio
Tak
Permanent employee
Tak
Role in the Faculty
{"funkcja-na-wydziale0":{"Funkcja":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Faculty of Psychology in Warsaw"}}
Role in the Department
{"funkcja-w-katedrze0":{"Funkcja":"Head","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Department of Health Psychology"}}
Role in the Institute
{"funkcja-w-instytucie0":{"Funkcja":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Institute of Psychology"}}
Specialization
Psychologist
First and last name
Aleksandra Kroemeke
Academic degree or title
Ph.D.
City
warszawa
Discipline
psychologia
Institute
Institute of Psychology
Position
profesor uczelni
Role in the university
przewodnicząca Komisji ds. Etyki Badań Naukowych
Faculty
Array
Role in the Research Center
[]
Ph.D. Aleksandra Kroemekepsycholog, zajmuje się kliniczną psychologią zdrowia

 

Research Methodology

The researchers have planned an intensive longitudinal study, requiring the completion of a daily diary. The study will ultimately involve at least 200 couples comprising a patient and their partner. Participants of the study will be recruited from a population of patients suffering from lymphatic and haematological cancers, scheduled for a bone marrow transplant, which requires the total hospitalization of approximately six weeks. The participants will be asked to fill out a daily diary and record their thoughts concerning their beliefs, emotions, behaviors and somatic symptoms, for a period of 28 days after the patient has left the hospital. Statistical analysis of the data will be carried out using the newest and most advanced research techniques, such as the latent curve growth analysis and multilevel modelling.

Application of Results

The obtained data will allow researchers to test the stress model, in the context of illness, taking into consideration the complexity and dynamics of the coping process. The key to recognizing the mechanisms of effective coping with illness is to determine distinctive processes of change in coping as well as their causes and consequences. A broader perspective on the coping process with illness from the point of view of the patient-partner dyad will also allow for the determination of the dynamics of social exchange and its impact on individual coping and its effectiveness. The results will also broaden the knowledge concerning the mechanisms of social support as well as individual resources in daily interpersonal relationships in a difficult situation.

Apart from measurable theoretical effects, such as contribution to the development of health psychology, and stress and coping research, the obtained results will also have practical implications: They will help to develop assistance programs for cancer patients and their families.

Research Team

Research Team

Kwissa-Gajewska, Zuzanna
Bio
Tak
Permanent employee
Tak
Role in the Faculty
{"funkcja-na-wydziale0":{"Funkcja":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Faculty of Psychology in Warsaw"}}
Role in the Department
{"funkcja-w-katedrze0":{"Funkcja":"","Nazwa w mianowniku":"Department of Health Psychology"}}
Specialization
Psychologist
First and last name
Zuzanna Kwissa-Gajewska
Academic degree or title
Ph.D.
City
warszawa
Discipline
psychologia
Position
adiunkt
Faculty
Array
Role in the Institute
[]
Role in the Research Center
[]
Ph.D. Zuzanna Kwissa-Gajewskapsycholog
Dr.
Małgorzata Sobczyk-Kruszelnicka

Maria Skłodowska-Curie Center of Oncology in Gliwice

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