Maladaptive Health Beliefs, Illness-related Coping Behaviour and the Role of the Patient–Physician Communication
E.C. Karademas1, A. Paschali2, M. Hadjulis2, A. Papadimitriou2
1University of Crete, Department of Psychology, Greece
2University of Athens, Department of Nursing, Greece
Background: The aim of this study was to examine whether the relation of general maladaptive health beliefs (as a set of biases in understanding general health issues) to patients’ coping behaviours is mediated by illness representations (as a set of beliefs about an illness). A further aim was to examine whether these relations are moderated by the amount of illness-related information provided by physicians. Methods: Patients with cardiovascular diseases (N=119) participated in the study. Coping behaviours were assessed 2 months later than general maladaptive beliefs, illness representations and information provided by physicians. Findings: Personal control and illness coherence mediated the relation of maladaptive beliefs to coping behaviour. The amount of information provided by physicians moderated the relation of maladaptive beliefs to illness representations and coping behaviour (it was not significant at the higher levels of the moderator). Discussion: General maladaptive health beliefs seem to conduce to a more negative perception of illness, which in turn impacts health behaviour. However, this effect is conditional on the quality of the patient–physician communication.