Illness perceptions and psychological adjustment of mothers of young adults with cystic fibrosis
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This study examined predictors of the psychological adjustment of mothers of adolescents and young adults with CF. In our sample of 51 mothers (mean age 48 years) with at least one child with CF, aged between 16 and 25 years, high levels of anxiety and depression were found. Illness representations, in particular perceptions of the cyclical nature of CF and emotional representations of CF, were significantly associated with maternal psychological distress. Mother’s work status was also found to be related to psychological adjustment. Mothers who had employment outside of the home were found to experience less psychological distress than mothers who did not work outside of the home. These findings have clinical implications for mothers of older children and young adults with CF. Annual screening of parental psychological adjustment is recommended. Interventions using extensions of cognitive behavioural therapy approaches to address negative illness perceptions may also have some utility for this population. Future research would benefit from also examining the role of factors such as child’s clinical health status (e.g. BMI, frequency of hospitalisations) and treatment adherence, and financial implications of illness in predicting maternal distress.
© 2016 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
Psychology not elsewhere classified