, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 193-203
Date: 28 May 2008

Variables Related to Posttraumatic Growth in Turkish Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

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Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, deteriorative disease, which can cause great psychological distress. Although RA has negative psychological consequences, it may also lead to positive changes, which has been given relatively little attention in the research literature. The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) has been used to evaluate growth in survivor’s thinking, feeling and/or behavior following the experiencing of traumatic or severely adverse life events. The purpose of the current study was to examine the domains of the PTGI and to identify variables related to Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in 117 RA patients from Turkey, a secular, Islamic, non-western developing country. Results showed that the PTGI has three domains: relationship with others; philosophy of life; and self-perception. Regression analyses showed that problem-focused coping had significant contributions to the total PTG levels and PTGI domains of relationship with others and self-perception. Perceived social support appeared as a significant associate for the total PTG levels and for all three domains. In addition, age and perceived disease severity were found to be significantly related to some domains of PTG. Clinicians, aiming to increase positive experience of RA patients, may need to focus on and facilitate perceived social support and problem-focused coping to facilitate growth experiences.