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Factors predicting disclosure of chronic illness status in the workplace and general well-being for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Factors predicting disclosure of chronic illness status in the workplace and general well-being for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The purpose of this above study was to examine the predictive effect of 3 types of predictors on 2 types of criteria, and the association between the 2 types of criteria in individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The predictors were illness severity, coping behavior x 5 (Positive reinterpretation and growth; Active coping; Seeking emotional support; Acceptance; and Planning) and social support x2 (emotional and practical support), and the criterion were disclosure of illness at workplace and general well-being x 2 (‘worn-out’ and ‘up-tight’ factors). See Appendix 1 for detailed descriptive statistics. All the data (i.e., self-ratings) were obtained from a questionnaire booklet that consisted of several questionnaires such as personal detail questionnaire, coping questionnaire, social support questionnaire and general well-being questionnaire. Personal details questionnaire consisted of demographic and disclosure questions.

Of the 110 participants studied, 45.9% were male and 54.1% were female (with one participant’s gender information missing). Forty-two (38.5%) of the patients had a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, whereas 68 (61.5%) had ulcerative Colitis. The study aimed for individuals of a working age, as reflected in the sample 9.3% of participants were 25-year-old and below (minimum aged 19), 51.9% aged 26 to 45, and 38.9% aged 46 and above (maximum aged 64). Seventy-nine patients (71.8%)

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2 = .21, F2 = 4.43, p < .05].
  1. Joint predictive effects of Social Support Satisfaction on Illness Disclosure and General Well-being (Appendix 4).

In this study, the social support questionnaire measured the perceived amount of social support received by an individual from various significant others since the start of current employment. Patients were asked to first rate the support available and then the ideal level of support. The discrepancy between support received and ideal support for each participant was then calculated and entered for analyses. A higher average discrepancy score indicated a larger discrepancy between the level of support received compared to the participant’s ideal level of support. This means that the higher the average discrepancy, the lower the social support satisfaction.

Higher average discrepancies of social supports (emotional and practical) in combination resulted in increased illness disclosure [r = .25, F (2, 103) = 3.46, p < .05]. This indicated that patients who are less satisfied with their received social support tended to be more likely to disclose their illness at work. These individuals who lack of social support might choose to disclose their illness in order to receive potential understanding and extra support from their organizations. When looking into two

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Word Count: 1996


Beatty, J. E. (2004). Chronic illness at invisible diversity: Disclosing and coping with illness in the workplace. Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College, Massachusetts, United States.

Bertella, L., Mori, I., Grugni, R., et al. (2007). Quality of life and psychological well-being in GH-treated, adult PWS patients: A longitudinal study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(4), 302-311.

Cox, T. & Griffiths, A. (1995). The nature and measurement of work stress: theory and practice. In Wilson, J. & Corlett, N. (Eds.) The evaluation of human work: A practical ergonomics methodology. London: Taylor & Francis.

Drossman, D. A. (1996). The role of psychosocial factors in gastrointestinal illness. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl, 31, 1-4.

Figueiredo, M. I., Fries, E., Ingram, K. M. (2003). The role of disclosure patterns and unsupportive social interactions in the well-being of breast cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology, 13(2), 96-105.

Jones, S. M., Carding, P. N., & Drinnan, M. J. (2006). Exploring the relationship between severity of dysphonia and voice-related quality of life. Clinical Otolaryngology, 31(5), 411-417.  

Kinash, R. G., Fisher, D. G., Lukie, B. E., Carr, T. L. (1993). Coping patterns and related characteristics in patients with IBD. Rehabil Nurs, 18, 12.

Saibeni, S., Cortinovis, I., Beretta, L., et al. (2005). Gender and disease activity influence health-related quality of life in inflammatory bowel diseases. Hepato-Gastroenterology, 52(62), 509-515.

Zea, M. C., Reisen, C. A., Poppen, P. J., et al. (2005). Disclosure of HIV status and psychological well-being among Latino gay and bisexual men. AIDS and Behavior, 9(1), 15-26.

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