PREDICTORS OF COPING AND STRESS INOCULATION TRAINING IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

FREDERICK W FOLEY, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study evaluated a Stress Inoculation training program designed to augment coping in multiple sclerosis (MS). It was predicted that, compared to a waiting list control group, the MS patients who received the intervention would demonstrate at post test significantly less depression, anxiety, and perceived distress, as well as significantly more problem-focused coping efforts. It was expected that compliance with the procedure would be related to treatment outcome, so it was hypothesized that compliance would be correlated negatively with depression, anxiety, and perceived distress, and positively correlated with problem-focused coping.^ A secondary purpose of the research was to investigate the coping process among these patients, specifically by describing predictors of psychological distress in MS. Demographic (educational background), disease related (duration and severity of illness), and trait (locus of control) variables were hypothesized to be predictors of psychological distress.^ Forty volunteer MS outpatients from Albert Einstein College of Medicine were randomly assigned to either the treatment or waiting list control group. The dependent variables were assessed via the Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Hassles Scale, Ways of Coping Checklist, Internal-External Locus of Control Scale, Kurtzke Disability Status Scale for Multiple Sclerosis, and the Stress Record Diary.^ The hypotheses that addressed the efficacy of the intervention were largely supported by the data. The subjects who received the treatment were significantly less anxious, utilized significantly more problem-focused coping, and demonstrated tendencies towards lower depression and perceived distress than the control group. Contrary to expectations, correlations between compliance with treatment and treatment outcome were not significant on depression, state anxiety, or perceived distress.^ The results of the hypotheses that investigated the predictors of psychological distress in MS were partially confirmed, as distress was found to be significantly correlated with external locus of control, trait and state anxiety, but not with educational background or duration of illness.^ The current results suggest that a Stress-Inoculation procedure can significantly assist patients with MS cope more efficaciously with subjective stress. Instrumental limitations included the reliance on self-reports, and the failure to assess qualitative aspects of treatment compliance. Future research should standardize alternative conditions offered, and assess for the comparability of patient expectations between groups. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

FOLEY, FREDERICK W, "PREDICTORS OF COPING AND STRESS INOCULATION TRAINING IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8615701.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615701

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