Topic- Psychological Adjustment To Chronic Illness I have 3 pages already with cited sources you can use if you want! Danait Teclezghi
“Instruction- A term paper, approximately 10 pages in length is required, covering a
health psychology topic that I chose on psychological adjustment to chronic illness.
The paper must involve primary research sources (i.e., research journals and books).
The paper must be written in 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, using
Chronic diseases are conditions that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention
or limit activities of daily living or both which is why adjusting to chronic illness is very important
to our mental health. One of the most challenging aspects of being diagnosed with a chronic
illness is psychological adjustment. Individuals must learn to cope with added stressors such as
increased medical attention, discomfort, pain, or other symptomatic difficulties because there is
no cure. People go through different stages of chronic illness- crisis, isolation, anger,
reconstruction, intermittent depression, and then renewal.
A theory developed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross suggests that we go through five
distinct stages of grief after the loss of a loved one: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and
finally acceptance. Ross’s work has been applied to a lot of situations of change that people
face throughout their lives, including chronic illness. Each stage has no time limit since
everyone grows toward acceptance of their disease at their own pace. Some people might go
through more than one stage at a time or in a different order.
Anne is an example of a patient who had to go through haemodialysis and went through a
recognizable series of stages following the start of treatment. At first, Anne felt good and was
relieved because of the benefit of her treatment. Secondly, the experience of haemodialysis is
usually less traumatic than normally expected. She accepted her chronic disease but denied the
consequences. Anne showed two stages at the same time, acceptance and denial. Second
phase was a depressive reaction. In this stage she showed anger and depression because she
was aware that the dialysis can’t make her fully well. Her third phase was realistic adjustment.
This period is normally for the patient to adjust. Anne was not adjusting to the change though,
so she was in the second stage. It’s not surprising to see many patients experience
helplessness before they adjust to the change. Her coping strategies show slow progress.
Some people cope better than others with the psychological and emotional aspects of kidney
Personal backgrounds like personality, life goals, as well as social and environmental
background like socioeconomic status, neighborhood, impacts chronic illness adjustment.
These background factors have an impact on the experience of acute and ongoing stressors, as
well as the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral reactions to the stressors.
In conclusion, psychological adjustment relates to processes rather than outcomes:
psychological reactions to chronic disease can be helpful, contributing to good health, or
harmful, resulting in poor health. Adjusting to chronic illness can have a huge impact on the
patient and their close relatives that go through the different stages with them. Some might
adjust more quickly than others and some might never adjust, it all depends on the person.
All Answers Ltd. (November 2018). Adjusting And Adapting To Change Chronic Illness Patients
Nursing Essay. Retrieved from
de Ridder, D., Geenen, R., Kuijer, R., & van Middendorp, H. (2008). Psychological adjustment to
chronic disease. Lancet (London, England), 372(9634), 246–255.
Joost Dekker & Vincent de Groot (2018) Psychological adjustment to chronic disease and
rehabilitation –an exploration, Disability and Rehabilitation, 40:1, 116-120, DOI:
Thompson, R. J., Jr, Gil, K. M., Abrams, M. R., & Phillips, G. (1992). Stress, coping, and
psychological adjustment of adults with sickle cell disease. Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, 60(3), 433–440. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-006x.60.3.433
Schiaffino, K. M., Shawaryn, M. A., & Blum, D. (1998). Examining the impact of illness
representations on psychological adjustment to chronic illnesses. Health Psychology : Official
Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 17(3),
Shao, J., Yang, H., Zhang, Q., Du, W., & Lei, H. (2019). Commonalities and Differences in
Psychological Adjustment to Chronic Illnesses Among Older Adults: a Comparative Study
Based on the Stress and Coping Paradigm. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 26(2),