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The Gerontologist, Vol 40, Issue 1 53-63, Copyright © 2000 by The Gerontological Society of America


Coping with disease-related stressors in Parkinson's disease

LD Frazier
Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami 33199, USA. [email protected]

This study examines three categories of disease-related stressors (i.e., physical, cognitive, psychosocial), differential coping, and mental and physical health outcomes in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Findings show that tremors, lack of mental energy, and being dependent on others were the most stressful symptoms in each category. Although there was evidence that PD patients match coping efforts to types of stressors, emotional regulation was the most common coping strategy. Hierarchical regression analyses show that disease- related variables influence every domain of quality of life, whereas the effects of coping are more selective. Specifically, the use of distancing was related to poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Findings focus attention on the disease-related stressors that create the experience of being chronically ill.

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Copyright © 2000 by The Gerontological Society of America.