The role of perfectionism in living with a chronic health condition

Moran, Katherine (2020) The role of perfectionism in living with a chronic health condition. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Living with a chronic health condition may threaten existing goals or future plans, as symptoms such as pain or fatigue have the potential to affect goal attainment. People living with chronic conditions are often required to adopt goal-based self-management strategies to manage symptoms. Perfectionism is a trait associated with the pursuit and attainment of goals. This thesis portfolio aims to investigate the role of perfectionism in living with a chronic health condition; more broadly through a systematic review, and in relation to one condition – type 1 diabetes.

The systematic review aimed to investigate the role of perfectionism in functioning, symptoms, self-management, adjustment or distress in adults living with chronic health conditions. The evidence suggests that on the whole, perfectionism is associated with worse physical functioning, increased symptoms, maladaptive coping, higher levels of stress and dissatisfaction with social support across a range of conditions.

The empirical study aimed to investigate the relationship between perfectionism, self-efficacy and diabetes-related avoidance on diabetes-related distress in adults with type 1 diabetes. The study included a cross-sectional design based on 282 participants (77% female) who participated through an online survey. Perfectionism, lower levels of self-efficacy and higher levels of diabetes-related avoidance were predictors of diabetes-related distress. Adults with higher levels of diabetes-related distress had higher levels of perfectionism and diabetes-related-avoidance, and lower levels of self-efficacy compared to those with lower levels of distress. Perfectionism was a significant predictor of avoidance in diabetes self-management, but not the frequency of blood glucose checking.

An additional results chapter addressed whether perfectionism is associated with subscales of the type 1 diabetes-related distress scale (not addressed in the empirical study). Perfectionism demonstrated statistically significant positive correlations with all subscales of the type 1 diabetes-related distress scale.

Theoretical and clinical implications based on results of the thesis portfolio are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 11:20
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2020 11:20


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