Friday, August 1, 2008

Review of psychological adjustment to chronic illness

Lancet has a narrative review about the psychological adjustment to chronic disease. It covers everything from inflammatory cytokines (they're everywhere), functional status, positive/helpful coping, potential long-term psychological benefits of adjusting to a chronic illness, and more. It's mostly useful as an overview of the topic, with a huge reference list, and would be a good starting point for people looking to do more in-depth review of the topic (teaching file!). I found this discussion interesting:

Prospective studies examining which types of emotion regulation affect adjustment show that, at least in the North American and western European cultures, the regular use of avoidant non-expressive styles of emotion regulation is disadvantageous for psychological adjustment and survival. In less emotionally expressive Asian cultures, non-expressive emotion regulation styles have proven advantageous, suggesting that the congruence between one's general style to handle emotions and the style advocated in one's cultural system determines whether the emotion regulation style is adaptive or maladaptive. Acknowledgment and intense experience of emotions are suggested to be beneficial for adjustment as long as those emotions are expressed and processed; the mere uncontrolled expression of emotions without processing can be maladaptive....

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