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The Impact Of Chronic Diseases On Patients Also Depends On Their Perception Of The Disease

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 24/11/2010 11:40

Researchers at the University of Granada have developed a test to measure and assess chronic patients’ cognitive representation of their disease. This advance will enable the development of clinical psychological treatments much more efficient than those currently employed.

What do we mean by “common sense” when we talk about a disease? What affects the ideas and beliefs that patients have of their disease? Researchers at the University of Granada have developed a test for measuring and assessing chronic patients’ cognitive representation of their disease. This advance will enable the development of clinical psychological treatments much more efficient than those currently employed.

The cognitive representation of a disease is the ideas and beliefs that patients have in relation to their condition, at a given time. These ideas are based around five aspects: symptoms, causes, impact of the disease on patients’ lives, way and measures for controlling the condition, time-line and progression of the disease.

Cognitive representation is said to be based on “common sense”, since patients are not experts and their ideas and perception of their disease are based on their own experience, self-knowledge and other sources (social, family environment, health center, etc). The researchers state that “the idea that patients have of their disease affects their own coping and adaptation to it”.

This study was conducted by Macarena De los Santos Roig, at the department of Social Psychology and Methodology of Behavioral Sciences of the University of Granada, and led by professor Cristino Pérez Meléndez.

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19/10/2010

CanalUGR

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