Clinical Psychology 5 (2012), 1-2, 5-20

Original scientific paper

Personal Control of Development, Sense of Coherence and Life Satisfaction of Persons Suffering from Chronic Illnesses

Jelena Martinović - Social Welfare Center Split, Split
Zvjezdan Penezić - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Jelena Ombla - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Ana Slišković - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 5-20).pdf

Using salutogenic terms, disease displaces a person closer to the “illness” end of the “health-illness” continuum, but whether the person continues to move towards “health” or “illness”, according to Antonovsky, depends on her sense of coherence. People with a higher sense of coherence should experience disease as a challenge, while coping with disease for them has a meaning, it’s worth the investment of time and energy. Those people act upon circumstances which lead to the illness (primary control strategies), and adapt themselves to these circumstances (secondary control strategies). People with a low sense of coherence should experience disease as a punishment, weakness and irreparable loss. They do not know how to cope, cannot make sense of their situation and therefore choose inadequate coping strategies. Diabetes and cancer are diseases with a different course and prognosis, as well as with different treatment requirements which these diseases pose to the patient, so successful coping with these diseases requires different management strategies. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a difference in the sense of coherence, control strategies and life satisfaction in patients with cancer, diabetes and healthy people. The research was conducted on a sample of 90 subjects, divided into three groups of subjects matched by age, sex and education (a group of people with cancer, a group with diabetes mellitus and a group of healthy individuals). It was found that people with cancer have a significantly higher sense of coherence and secondary control, compared to diabetics and healthy individuals, while diabetics and healthy individuals do not significantly differ on these variables. In primary and tertiary control, and life satisfaction, there were no significant differences with regard to the health status of the subjects. Significant positive predictors of life satisfaction were a sense of coherence and secondary control.

control of personal development, sense of coherence, life satisfaction, diabetes, cancer

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