Psychological perspectives on stigma and self-compassion in adults with epilepsy

Baker, David and Eccles, Fiona (2017) Psychological perspectives on stigma and self-compassion in adults with epilepsy. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Section 1 describes a systematic literature review examining quantitative correlates of stigma in adults with epilepsy living in Western countries. To identify relevant literature, four academic databases (PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, and Scopus) were systematically searched using key terms related to stigma and epilepsy. The findings of the review suggested that stigma can be predicted by demographic, illness-related, and psychosocial factors; although associations were found to be highly culturally-specific. Detrimental effects of stigma included both physical health, including effective management of the condition, and psychological wellbeing, including difficulties such as depression and anxiety. These findings suggested that culturally-informed educational initiatives and therapeutic interventions which aim to address stigma in people with epilepsy (PWE) are needed. Section 2 describes a research study examining the extent to which self-compassion can predict depression, anxiety, and resilience in PWE, when controlling for other important demographic and illness-related variables. Adults with epilepsy were invited to take part in a survey either online or in epilepsy or neurology clinics. Data were then analysed using hierarchical multiple regression models. In this sample of PWE, self-compassion was found to significantly predict lower depression and anxiety and higher resilience when other significant sociodemographic and illness-related variables had been taken into account. These findings indicated that self-compassion is an important factor in determining psychological outcomes for PWE, providing preliminary support for the use of compassionfocused approaches in this population. Section 3 provides a critical appraisal of the thesis. This includes a summary of the main findings; a discussion of some of the key decisions, challenges, and professional issues identified during the research process; a consideration of potential future research arising from the findings; and personal reflections on the process of undertaking the work.

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Thesis (PhD)
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14 Sep 2017 15:54
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:41