, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 255-271

The Stress of Being Chronically Ill: From Disease-Specific to Task-Specific Aspects

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The assumption that disease-related stressors are exclusive for particular diagnoses characterizes many studies of chronically ill patients. In this study the perceptions of 1305 patients from 10 different chronic disease categories were compared with respect to a number of important stressors. Differences were found in the amount and type of stressors experienced, but these differences could not solely be explained by type of disease. Personal characteristics such as age, sex, education level, living situation, and illness duration were also important in determining the degree and type of stress experienced. The implications of these findings for stress/coping research as well as the clinical implications are discussed.