Stress and coping responses to a natural disaster in people with schizophrenia

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.47). 06/2007; 151(1-2):77-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2006.10.009
Source: PubMed


Investigations of how individuals with schizophrenia differ from non-patients in their responses to stressful life events are subject to the criticism that any between-group differences might merely reflect differences in the types of stressful events that each group experiences. This report presents new analyses of data collected from schizophrenia patients (n=96), bipolar disorder patients (n=18), and healthy controls (n=18) immediately after the Northridge Earthquake that struck Southern California in 1994, a natural experiment that confronted all groups with the same stressful event. Participants completed the Impact of Events Scale (IES; [Horowitz, M.J., Wilner, N., Alvarez, W., 1979. Impact of Events Scale. A measure of subjective stress. Psychosomatic Medicine 41, 209-218]) at 1 week and 5 weeks post-earthquake. At the 5-week follow-up, measures of coping, social support, and self-esteem were also completed. Both patient groups reported higher IES avoidance symptoms than controls immediately after the earthquake. The schizophrenia group also reported lower approach coping, self-esteem, and social support than controls, with the bipolar group reporting intermediate levels. Within the schizophrenia group, higher levels of avoidance coping predicted higher residual stress symptoms at follow-up. Results support the validity of prior reports of altered responses to stressful life events in schizophrenia and demonstrate the clinical relevance of individual differences in coping among affected individuals.

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    • "and .78 among individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and healthy controls, respectively (Horan et al., 2007) as well as good testeretest reliability (.75e.87; Huprich et al., 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that healthy individuals who fail to differentiate among emotional states (i.e., those with low emotional granularity; EG) have poorer social functioning (SF) than those with high EG. It is unknown, however, whether these associations extend to clinical disorders characterized by impaired SF, such as schizophrenia. In the present study, we compared SF and EG in individuals with schizophrenia and healthy controls, and then, within the schizophrenia group, we examined the links between EG and SF. Employing an Experience Sampling Method approach, 77 individuals with schizophrenia and 27 healthy controls rated their momentary emotions (sadness, anxiety, anger, and happiness) up to 10 times/day over a two-day period using mobile electronic devices. For each participant, we then calculated the within-subject average correlations among the momentary emotion ratings, producing two EG indices – EGIall for all emotions and EGIneg for negative ones. A subsample of participants with schizophrenia also completed self-report, interview, and ability-based measures of SF. Compared to healthy controls, individuals with schizophrenia displayed significantly poorer SF and lower EGIall, but comparable EGIneg. Within the schizophrenia group, hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that EGIall, but not EGIneg, significantly predicted social dysfunction after controlling for emotional awareness, symptoms, and emotional intensity and variability. Our findings indicate that individuals with schizophrenia have a relatively intact ability to differentiate among negative emotions in everyday life. However, they experience significant difficulties differentiating between positive and negative emotions, and this may contribute to their social difficulties.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Psychiatric Research
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    • "While some research has found that those with severe mental illness use the same range of coping strategies as the general population (Burton, Chaneb, and Meeks, 2007); other evidence suggests that those with major mental illness are impaired in their ability to acquire and employ useful coping strategies. Those with major mental illness tend to demonstrate diminished problemsolving abilities compared to healthy controls, opting to rely more heavily on emotion-oriented and avoidance coping (Horan, Ventura, Nuechterlein, Subotnik, Hwang, and Mintz, 2005; Horan et al., 2007; Phillips, Francey, Edwards, and McMurray, 2009). Exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms is related to using less task coping (Meyer, 2001), and more emotion-oriented coping responses (Strous, Ratner, Gibel, Ponizovsky, and Ritsner, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sources of perceived stress, coping style and coping efficacy were investigated among psychiatric patients being discharged to the community. The study's purpose was to (i) qualitatively characterize sources of perceived stress; (ii) identify preferred coping styles, and (iii) test the effectiveness of coping styles. Thematic coding of participants' narratives revealed that dominant stressors were family relationships, mental health symptoms, and employment issues. Consistent with previous findings among non-clinical samples, problem-focused coping styles were predictive of decreased perceived stress and increased perceived efficacy, whereas emotion-oriented coping styles were negatively associated with these outcomes. Contrary to hypotheses, avoidance coping styles was unrelated to outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Archives of psychiatric nursing
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    • "Figueroa et al. (2010) concordam com esse ponto ao ressaltarem a necessidade de investigação mais sistemática dos sintomas pós-traumáticos. Horan et al. (2007) lembram a importância de considerar que pessoas e grupos diferem quanto à vulnerabilidade diante de eventos traumáticos. Dentre os vários estudos que investigam o TEPT e os demais transtornos psiquiátricos, o de Figueira (2004) procura esclarecer que tem sido verificado na prática que os sintomas característicos deste transtorno são reações normais após a vivência de desastres naturais e que sua incidência tem se mostrado pequena em relação ao esperado pelos pesquisadores. "
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    ABSTRACT: Natural disasters are increasingly affecting people around the world, causing many times psychological suffering to affected populations. Before this, one wonders how the psychologist may act against the natural disasters? This article aimed to analyze the scientific production in the field of psychology, available in national and international virtual libraries from 2000 to 2010, about the work of psychologist concerning to natural disasters. For both, we conducted a content analysis of bibliographical production available in the following data banks CRID, BIREME and LILACS. From the 72 work accessed, 47.67 % were related to the subject, being 43.33 % in the portuguese language. As to the practices described, there is more focus in the actions that happen post-disaster, specifically in the treatment of mental disorders, in particular in posttraumatic stress disorder. From the data collected, we emphasize the need to produce articles and other scientific work as a way to disseminate guidelines that are able to subsidize the actions of psychologists concerning to natural disasters, not focusing only in post-disaster, but on preventive actions that aim to strengthen and prepare the community to cope with natural disasters.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Psicologia em Estudo
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