Does a lack of social support and perceived stigma influence the relationship between motor neurone disease-related stress and psychological distress?

Leigh, Natalie and Simpson, Jane and Eccles, Fiona (2021) Does a lack of social support and perceived stigma influence the relationship between motor neurone disease-related stress and psychological distress? British Journal of Health Psychology, 26 (2). pp. 289-306. ISSN 1359-107X

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Abstract

Objectives This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms through which social support and felt stigma influence the relationship between motor neurone disease (MND)‐related stress and psychological distress for people with MND. Although a lack of social support has been identified as a significant predictor of psychological distress for individuals with MND, the mechanisms through which this relationship exists have not been assessed, nor have the predictive nature of stigma. Furthermore, the theoretical model specifying the effects of enacted stigma on self‐stigma has not been tested in individuals with MND. Design A cross‐sectional design utilizing an online survey method was used. It was hypothesized that social support would moderate the relationship between MND‐related stress (operationalized as enacted stigma or physical functioning) and psychological distress (operationalized as depression, anxiety, and stress). Furthermore, felt stigma would significantly mediate the relationship between MND‐related stress (enacted stigma) and psychological distress. Methods Individuals with a diagnosis of MND were recruited internationally through social media and through various organizations and support services. Seventy‐seven participants completed the online survey. Results Significant correlations were identified between social support, felt, and enacted stigma and psychological distress. Moderation analysis was not significant. However, the mediation analyses identified felt stigma as a significant mediator of the relationship between enacted stigma and psychological distress. A direct relationship between enacted stigma and stress (but not depression and anxiety) was also evident. Conclusions A comprehensive approach to tackling stigma is important in ameliorating psychological distress for people with MND. Limitations of the current study are discussed, along with implications for clinical practice.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
British Journal of Health Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3202
Subjects:
ID Code:
148221
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
19 Oct 2020 15:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Nov 2021 10:35