A naturalistic study of ambulatory asthma severity and reported avoidant coping styles

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Abstract

Objective: To examine how the use of dispositional avoidant coping traits prospectively predicts ambulatory asthma severity in daily life. Methods: An ecological momentary assessment (EMA) design enabled examination of stable coping styles across dynamic daily changes of ambulatory peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), asthma symptoms and stress in the natural environment of patients with asthma. A community sample of 61 adults with asthma reported their typical use of avoidant coping styles and carried palmtop computers that alerted them to record their stress and symptoms five times per day for 1 week. Results: Some aspects of dispositional avoidant coping predicted more asthma symptoms and worse PEFR. Denial and behavioural disengagement as typical coping styles predicted more symptoms and worse PEFR. Mental disengagement was unrelated to symptoms and PEFR. Discussion: These data suggest that individuals with asthma who report typically utilizing avoidant coping may have worse health parameters in momentary reports when examined in their natural environments. Differences between avoidant coping styles emerged, suggesting the existence of moderating factors of coping effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalChronic Illness
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

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