The chronically ill patient must adjust to new life circumstances and manage ongoing threats to personal health. Patients often make comparisons with each other, which can have effects on their psychological and physical well-being. One question is whether health psychologists can develop interventions to strategically facilitate the use of such comparisons to optimise adjustment. This paper critically reviews evidence on patients' comparisons in studies using selection, narration and reaction methods. Discussion focuses on gaps in the empirical literature and describes some new basic concepts in social comparison, which may advance knowledge about the process in medical patients. Recommendations also are provided about the kinds of studies needed to inform the future design of effective social comparison interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health