Relations between psychological avoidance, symptom severity and embarrassment in essential tremor

Holding, Sophie and Lew, Adina (2015) Relations between psychological avoidance, symptom severity and embarrassment in essential tremor. Chronic Illness, 11 (1). pp. 69-71. ISSN 1742-3953

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Research with community- and clinic-based samples of essential tremor (ET) sufferers has identified embarrassment as a common consequence of the condition, leading to social anxiety and avoidance. We sought to ascertain whether psychological avoidance was related to embarrassment in ET, and whether any such relation was independent of symptom severity. Establishing whether psychological avoidance is related to embarrassment in ET would be a first indicator that mindfulness-based therapeutic approaches may be appropriate for sufferers of ET. Ninety-two participants were recruited through online support groups run by the International Tremor Foundation and the UK National Tremor Foundation, with the self-reported inclusion criteria being a clinical diagnosis of ET. Participants completed 3 validated questionnaires concerning ET-related embarrassment, ET symptom severity and psychological avoidance. Females had slightly higher embarrassment scores than males, and symptom severity and psychological avoidance made significant moderate (each accounting for 10-15% of variance approx.), but independent contributions to embarrassment scores. These results suggest that to address the potentially debilitating effects of embarrassment in ET, both symptom severity and psychological avoidance need to be targeted, with intervention research being required.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Chronic Illness
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Chronic Illness, 11 (1), 2015, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2015 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Chronic Illness page: on SAGE Journals Online:
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23 Jul 2014 08:31
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 00:58