Illness perceptions, coping, benefit finding, and adjustment in individuals with Hepatitis C

Simon Langston*, Mark S. Edwards, Michael Lyvers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To investigate the ability of illness perceptions, adaptive, and maladaptive coping strategies, and benefit finding to predict physical and psychosocial adjustment among individuals diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), within an expanded self-regulatory model of illness (SRM). Method: A total of 126 participants with HCV completed an online questionnaire assessing illness perceptions, coping, benefit finding, and four adjustment outcomes, depression, physical functioning, life satisfaction and positive affect. Results: Illness perceptions made significant contributions to the variance in adjustment outcomes across the four psychosocial and physical adjustment areas. At an individual level, personal control, identification with HCV symptoms, perceptions related to illness duration, illness coherence, and emotional responses to HCV made significant contributions to the prediction of adjustment. Similarly, the combined contributions of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies explained significant variance across the four adjustment areas. Greater adoption of maladaptive coping strategies predicted poorer physical health, higher reported depression, greater life satisfaction, and positive affect outcomes, while increased engagement with adoptive coping strategies predicted higher positive affect. Increased benefit finding predicted greater positive affect, life satisfaction, and higher depression. Conclusion: Results demonstrate the ability of the SRM features of illness perceptions and coping, and benefit finding to predict physical and psychosocial adjustment outcomes within the context of HCV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number1
Early online date12 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


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