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Dissertation

Relations Between Optimisim, Coping, Cognitive Ability, and Depression in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

12 June 2007

Abstract

Previous research with healthy and chronically ill adults has found optimism, adaptive coping styles, and average cognitive functioning to be important in the prevention of depressive symptoms. However, few studies have investigated how these resilience factors affect depressive symptoms in a population infected with the Hepatitis C Virus. (HCV). Previous research with adult populations indicates that high levels of optimism, low levels of pessimism, adaptive coping styles, and average and above average cognitive functioning are associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms. This study examines the relationship between resilience factors and depressive symptoms in 44 male patients diagnosed with HCV. Results indicate that 38% of the variance in depressive symptoms is accounted for by lack of optimism, older age, and venting coping. Consistent with the literature, high levels of optimism and low levels of pessimism were associated with less depressive symptoms. Of the coping variables, only venting coping was found to be significantly related to increased depressive symptoms. Cognitive functioning was not related to resilience variables or depressive symptoms', with the exception that cognitive impairment was associated with more emotional support coping strategies. Implications for interventions and future research are discussed.


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