The Stress-Buffering Effects of Hope on Adjustment to Multiple Sclerosis
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- Madan, S. & Pakenham, K.I. Int.J. Behav. Med. (2014) 21: 877. doi:10.1007/s12529-013-9384-0
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Hope is an important resource for coping with chronic illness; however, the role of hope in adjusting to multiple sclerosis (MS) has been neglected, and the mechanisms by which hope exerts beneficial impacts are not well understood.
This study aims to examine the direct and stress-moderating effects of dispositional hope and its components (agency and pathways) on adjustment to MS.
A total of 296 people with MS completed questionnaires at time 1 at 12 months later and time 2. Focal predictors were stress, hope, agency and pathways, and the adjustment outcomes were anxiety, depression, positive affect, positive states of mind and life satisfaction.
Results of regression analyses showed that as predicted, greater hope was associated with better adjustment after controlling for the effects of time 1 adjustment and relevant demographics and illness variables. However, these direct effects of hope were subsumed by stress-buffering effects. Regarding the hope components, the beneficial impacts of agency emerged via a direct effects mechanism, whereas the effects of pathways were evidenced via a moderating mechanism.
Findings highlight hope as an important protective coping resource for coping with MS and accentuate the roles of both agency and pathways thinking and their different modes of influence in this process.