The Association Between Threat Appraisals and Psychological Adjustment in Partners of People With Spinal Cord Injuries

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ObjectiveTo explore the psychological factors associated with adjustment in partners of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs).Participants and DesignForty partners of people with SCIs. The study had a cross-sectional design.Main Outcome MeasuresBeck Depression Inventory, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y-1, Social Provisions Scale, COPE, and an appraisal scale.ResultsApproximately one third of partners reported levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms above the clinical cut-off points indicating elevated levels of emotional distress. Factors hypothesized to account for levels of emotional distress on the basis of the cognitive-appraisal model of stress and coping were found to be explanative. In particular, high threat appraisal, higher use of avoidance (emotion-focused) coping, and lack of approach (problem-focused) coping were found to predict higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms.ConclusionsPartners of people with SCIs are at risk of emotional distress. Factors that might help identify at-risk partners are identified and psychological interventions that might help partners are discussed.

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