Psychological Issues among Individuals with Chronic Illnesses: A Multi-Informant Perspective

  • Shazia Yusuf Psychology Department, Bahria University Islamabad.
  • Rubina Hanif National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University (New Campus) , Islamabad , Pakistan
  • Tasnim Rahna
Keywords: Chronic illness, multi-informant approach, Psychological Issues, loss of interest, sadness, sleeping difficulty


Background and Objective. Individuals with chronic illnesses exhibit number of psychological issues, but their significance in worsening the situation is always ignored. It has been highlighted that psychological issues are deteriorating the quality of life of individuals with chronic illness (Awopetu, Omadu & Abikoye, 2017). Current study was conducted to discover the psychological issues of individuals with chronic illnesses (i.e., cardiac, diabetes and cancer).

Method. Focus Group discussions were conducted by using multi-informant approach to provide a broader picture. The focus group guides were prepared following the Self-determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2004), the Diathesis–stress model (Ingram & Luxton, 2005), and the Disability-Stress-Coping Strategy (Wallander & Varni, 1998).  Twenty-four focus group discussions (1-6 focus groups with individuals having chronic illnesses, six with caregivers of the individuals having chronic illnesses, six with the doctors treating these patients and six were conducted with nurses and paramedical staff) comprised of 6-9 members each.

Analyses. After the collection of data, it’s organization and coding was done after which themes were generated by using the content analysis approach (Berelson, 1952). Generated themes have provided the major indicators of psychological issues and these are crying spells, sleeping difficulty, sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in life, appetite problems and loss of interest in everything, aggression (physical and verbal).

Implications. Findings have implications for caregivers and professionals working with the patients i.e. the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff etc. It may also help the doctors to consider the psychological condition of the patients while treating their physiological problems.


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