, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 561-571

The Psychosocial Impact of Cancer and Lupus: A Cross Validation Study That Extends the Generality of “Benefit-Finding” in Patients with Chronic Disease

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Abstract

Mohr et al. (1999) described the psychosocial effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) from the patient's perspective. Three factors emerged: demoralization, benefit-finding, and deteriorated relationships. The benefit-finding factor suggested that some patients with MS benefited from their illness. We investigated the generalizability of these results by replicating the Mohr et al. study using patients with two diseases, cancer (N = 56) and lupus (N = 31). All participants completed the questionnaire developed by Mohr et al. along with the Profile of Mood States. When the data were analyzed, results showed a three-factor solution very similar to the one reported by Mohr et al. Scores on the demoralization factor were positively related to total mood disturbance and average pain ratings and inversely related to benefit-finding. Conversely, patients who perceived more benefits from their illness suffered less. We conclude that benefit-finding is not unique to patients with MS but occurs in patients with other chronic diseases.