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Overcoming 'psychosomatic' illness: lay attributions of cure for five possible psychosomatic illnesses.

Furnham, A; (1989) Overcoming 'psychosomatic' illness: lay attributions of cure for five possible psychosomatic illnesses. Soc Sci Med , 29 (1) pp. 61-67.

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Abstract

This semi-replicative study was concerned with lay people's beliefs about the importance of 24 different contributors towards overcoming five relatively common illnesses: hypertension, peptic ulcers, asthma, dermatitis and migraine. These illnesses have frequently been regarded as psychosomatic although there is considerable debate as to whether this is so. One hundred subjects completed a 5-page questionnaire indicating how effective 24 factors were to overcoming the five specified illnesses. Factor analysis revealed almost identical clusters for each problem. These were labelled inner control, social consequences, fate, understanding and receiving help. Items clustering on the first and latter two factors were thought of as generally important and those on fate and, to a lesser extent, understanding, less important, although the perceived relevance of the second and third factors differed significantly between problems. Regressional analysis showed that various individual difference factors, age and sex in particular, were related to perceived relevance of the different contributors. The results were discussed in terms of subjects' beliefs concerning the value of self reliance as opposed to professional help, and the importance of understanding lay beliefs about the efficacy of different cures. Comparisons are made with four other studies using basically the same methodology.

Type: Article
Title: Overcoming 'psychosomatic' illness: lay attributions of cure for five possible psychosomatic illnesses.
Location: England
Keywords: Attitude to Health, Female, Health Education, Humans, Internal-External Control, Male, Psychophysiologic Disorders, Self Care, Social Control, Informal, Social Support
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1422876
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