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Part 3- L5.docx

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Gareth Treharne

Part 3- L5 Illness beliefs Q: Why are beliefs about illnesses important? A: because - We often interact with people who are ill - We will most likely become ill during our lifetime Somatic symptoms disorder criteria - One or more somatic symptoms causing distress or disruption of daily life = functional impairment - Disproportionate thoughts about seriousness - Excessive time devoted to the symptoms - Lasting 6+ months o Symptoms can shift o It is not just a specific symptom that needs to last - NOT o Intentional or feigned  Factitious disorder o Fearing an illness  Illness anxiety disorder  Person has minute or no symptoms but believe they do The common sense model - Can be applied to beliefs about o Somatised conditions  E.g. panic attacks = heart attacks o Mental health conditions  E.g. major depression o Diagnosed physical condition  E.g. heart attach o Potential physical conditions  E.g. heart disease risk - Can be applied to beliefs of o People with the condition o Health professionals o Others Lupus - Affects 1 in 1000 people o Mostly women o Nine times as many women than men - Autoimmune disease o Body is attacking its own cells o It recognises its own cells as foreign o Can become terminal illness if not diagnosed soon enough o Unclear cause - Onset often slow with non-specific symptoms o E.g. fatigue, muscle ache - Some effective medications but cyclical - Photosensitivity to sunlight o Causes mild-severe rashes o Even in winter - Research o Semi-structured interviews with 10 women with lupus o Duration since diagnosis lupus  1-12 years o Age range  26-68 years o Ethnicity: all white British o Illness identity in lupus  Symptoms of and labels of the condition  I had a lot of problems with my periods and everything and like  I said before if somebody had told me that was part of it I could have put it on a back burner  Used to call it SLE, because I don’t really like the word lupus, but that’s what my parents call it so… I’ve had to deal with that o Timeline of lupus  Acute or cyclical>  Time line examples  It’s chronic now. It used to be episodically acute.”  Looking back… I had my first acute attack… when I was 17… I wasn’t actually diagnosed until I was 36. o Causes of lupus  Lupus patients’ causal perceptions focus on:  Stress  Heredity  Pregnancy  Viral infections  Medications or chemicals  Or a combination of the above  Can be perceived differently by the public  I’d only got to walk through the town and people stopped and just literally looked at me. My friend said ‘What do you think you’re looking at? She isn’t contagious,’ but they looked at me that way, as if I’d got a disease o Consequences of an illness  Impact for  Individual in terms of o Work ability and income o Daily chores and valued activities o Depends on life stage, roles and expectations o Learning to live with lupus’ limitations  have had to change my life and learn my limitations, what I can cope with when to say ‘No’, which is something I find difficult  Those close to the individual o Concerns about heredity o Worry about the person with lupus o Changing routines and providing physical care o Controllability  Personal control  I guess it’s that sense of power that I have. I have control. I don’t have to relinquish control. That feeling that I’m not a victim.  Treatment control (no cure) in terms of hope  Genetic research into possible causes  Medication to treat these genetic causes Illness beliefs - Identity o Symptoms and labels - Timeline o Acute or cyclical - Causes o Genetic, behavioural or environmental - Consequences o Self and beyond - Control o Personal or treatment Rheumatoid arthritis - Affects 1 in 100 people o More women - Autoimmune disease o Unclear cause o Body is attacking its own cells o It recognises its own cells as foreign o Can become terminal illness if not diagnosed soon enough o Not wear and tear - Affects people of all ages o Prevalence builds up - Some effective medication bit cyclical - Involves inflammation and destruction of many joints HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) - Retrovirus o Invades host’s cells (replicates with them) - Leads to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) - Progressive failure of the immune system o Allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive - Some effective medications but cyclical - Associated conditions include o Pneumonia or gastrointestinal infections o Demyelinating disease or dementia o Infection-related cancer  E.g. cervical - Prevalence o Over 30 million people world wide  1 in 1’700 in NZ  1 in 1’100 in Australia  1 in 700 in UK  1 in 300 in the US o HIV infection already progressed to AIDS in the UK  37% of heterosexuals with HIV have AIDS diagnosis  22% men-who-have-sex-with men with HIV have AIDS diagnosis Study (Treharne) - What is the effect of priming with causal information - Hypotheses o People think that personal behaviours are more important for causing IV/AIDS than rheumatoid arthritis o Presenting people with information about external factors or personal behaviours that may cause HIV/AIDS or rheumatoid arthritis will prime people to agree more with these causes o Priming effect will be stronger for rheumatoid arthritis - Recruited people vie o Department of psychology participation scheme o SJS o Maori centre o UniQ o Posters and newspaper adverts o Snowball sampling and dragging people of the street - Participants o 282 women (mean age= 20.7) o 282 men (mean age = 21.3) o Mainly white (78%) and heterosexual (92%) - Method o Two illnesses  HIV/AIDS  Rheumatoid arthritis o Three experimental conditions  Only the name  Short information emphasising personal behaviours as cause and highlightingthe serious nature HIV/AIDS Relates to sex and IV drug use: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic illness that is caused by a weakened immune system where the body cannot defend itself from infection. People with AIDS tend to suffer from many illnesses and premature death. Scientists know that AIDS is
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