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Gratitude uniquely predicts lower depression in chronic illness populations: a longitudinal study of inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis

Sirois, Fuschia M. and Wood, Alexander Mathew (2017) Gratitude uniquely predicts lower depression in chronic illness populations: a longitudinal study of inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Health Psychology, 36 (2). 122 - 132. ISSN 0278-6133

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Identification Number: 10.1037/hea0000436

Abstract

Objective: Although gratitude has been identified as a key clinically relevant trait for improving well-being, it is understudied within medical populations. The current study addressed this gap and extended previous and limited cross-sectional research by examining the longitudinal associations of gratitude to depression in 2 chronic illness samples, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Methods: Two chronic illness samples, arthritis (N = 423) and IBD (N = 427), completed online surveys at Time 1 (T1). One hundred sixty-three people with arthritis and 144 people with IBD completed the 6-month follow-up survey (T2). Depression, gratitude, illness cognitions, perceived stress, social support, and disease-related variables were assessed at T1 and T2. Results: At T2, 57.2% of the arthritis sample and 53.4% of the IBD sample met the cut off scores for significant depression. T1 gratitude was negatively associated with depressive symptoms at T1 and T2 in both samples (rs from −.43 to −.50). Regression analyses revealed that T1 gratitude remained a significant and unique predictor of lower T2 depression after controlling for T1 depression, relevant demographic variables, illness cognitions, changes in illness-relevant variables, and another positive psychological construct, thriving, in both samples. Conclusion: As the first investigation of the longitudinal associations of gratitude to psychological well-being in the context of chronic illness, the current study provides important evidence for the relevance of gratitude for health-related clinical populations. Further intervention-based research is warranted to more fully understand the potential benefits of gratitude for adjustment to chronic illness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/hea
Additional Information: © 2016 American Psychological Association
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2019 11:27
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 07:00
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101516

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