Coping in difficult situations and adaptation to living with disability among individuals with spinal cord impairment, with various levels of self-reported health
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Zakład Socjopedagogiki Specjalnej, Instytut Pedagogiki, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2012;18(1):37–44
Coping and adaptation processes determine the quality of functioning of individuals with permanent disabilities, including those with spinal cord impairments. The recent tendency in analyzing the adaptation to living with disability has incorporated elements of coping, indicating that remedial activities undertaken by an individual are significantly and intricately interrelated with the ways of reacting to the development of permanent impairments.

The objective of the study was determination of the nature of the interrelation between dispositional and situational coping with difficult situations, and adaptive reactions displayed by individuals with spinal cord impairments who differ in terms of their subjective health assessment.

Material and Methods:
The study covered 113 patients suffering from paraplegia, the majority of them males (82.00%). The respondents with high and low self-reported health status were identified. The following research tools were used: the COPE developed by Carver, Scheier and Weintraub in the Polish adaptation by Piątek and Wrześniewski, as well as the Reactions to Impairment and Disability Inventory (RIDI) developed by Livneh and Antonak, prepared by Kirenko and Byra (experimental version). Self-reported health was assessed with the use of a 1-item scale consisting of the question: How healthy do you think you are?

Self-reported health proved to be a significant intervening variable differentiating both styles and strategies of cop- ing, as well as adaptive reactions to the development of permanent impairments. The respondents with high self-reported health considerably more often preferred the adaptive ways of coping and revealed more creative adaptive reactions, compared to those who evaluated their health status in low terms.

Dispositional and situational coping is considerably interrelated with adaptive reactions of individuals with spinal cord impairments. Nature of this interrelation is to a significant extent determined with the use of self-reported health.

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