Psychosomatics 2005 Jan-Feb;46(1):25-33
Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Santé EA 3662, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux-2, France.
The aim of this study was to investigate psychosocial factors associated with perceived disease severity, with emphasis on informational processing, in 185 consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis C. Medical data, information sources regarding chronic hepatitis C, and attentional coping styles were assessed. The patients considered their hepatitis C a severe disease and gave it a mean rating of 74 (SD = 19) on a 100-mm visual analogue scale, but this perception was not related to liver histological severity. In multivariate analysis, age, coping styles (monitoring, blunting), and having a hepatologist as an information source accounted for 23% of the variance of perceived severity. These results suggest that information processing and psychological features play a key role in the way patients with chronic hepatitis C perceive their disease.