Two groups of researchers (from the University of Lubeck and from University of Sydney) report on a novel method of measuring the experience of suffering in the January issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
Measuring the impact of illness is important for several reasons. The Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure (PRISM) is a recently developed tool purported to assess burden of suffering due to illness. The nature of the PRISM task suggests a conceptual link to the illness self-schema construct hypothesised to be present in some individuals with chronic illness.
The aim of the first study was to introduce a self-administered version of PRISM and to provide some first data on its validity. A postal survey was conducted in subjects with the chronic depigmentation disorder vitiligo. Data of 333 respondents completing the PRISM were used for analysis. Besides illness-related measures, psychological variables were assessed with the following instruments: Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), five-item version of the Mental Health Inventory, adaptation of the Skindex-29, a quality-of-life measure for skin diseases. Self-illness separation correlated as predicted with some illness-related variables.
Dr. Louise Sharpe | alfa
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