Illness identity and preferences for group therapy in adults with chronic illness

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Kubik, Dalaine
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
This thesis explored, through an online survey, the illness perceptions and group therapy preferences of 213 adults with chronic health conditions. This research study was the first to introduce the concept of illness identity to the context of group therapy and filled significant gaps within the literature regarding the firsthand preferences of this population. The participants were recruited through a variety of social media platforms, including chronic illness support groups on Facebook. Descriptive and nonparametric statistics were used to explore: (a) what adults with chronic illness want from group therapy, (b) how illness identity was characterized in this transdiagnostic sample, and (c) how illness identity relates to preferences for group therapy. The data demonstrated that illness identity significantly related to preferences regarding the characteristics of group leaders, elements of group structure, and topics to address in group. Future directions for research and practice recommendations for group therapists are provided.
Group therapy , Chronic illness , Illness identity , Counselling psychology