Intra- and interpersonal effects of coping on the psychological well-being of adults with sensory loss and their spouses

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Christine Marie Lehane, Jesper Dammeyer, Walter Wittich

Purpose: The aim of the current study was to examine the associations between coping and psychological well-being among adults with sensory loss and their spouses. Methods: A total of 183 adults with sensory loss and 133 spouses participated in an online survey and were followed up six months later. Coping and well-being were measured using the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Scale (Brief COPE) and the five-item World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5), respectively. Cross-sectional and longitudinal intra- and interpersonal effects of coping on psychological well-being were analyzed using a structural equation modeling approach. Results: Results showed that a significant portion of adults with sensory loss (32.4%) and spouses (23.8%) had poor well-being, and this remained stable over the six-month period. Coping styles associated with the well-being of adults with sensory loss included active coping, avoidance, distraction, venting and spouse support seeking. Coping styles associated with the well-being of spouses included support seeking, distraction, venting, avoidance (by partner) and humor (by partner). Conclusion: The results highlight the need to support the well-being of adults with sensory loss and their spouses in rehabilitation, and the importance of both intra- and interpersonal coping in the adjustment process.Implications for rehabilitation Rehabilitation specialists and social workers working with adults with sensory loss should, where possible, incorporate family members into support plans. Rehabilitation specialists and social workers working in sensory rehabilitation should be mindful of how the coping styles of one partner can impact the well-being of their significant other. In addition to promoting positive coping behaviors, such as planning and support seeking, rehabilitation specialists and social workers should also take care to identify and reduce maladaptive coping behaviors such as avoidance and distraction. Online and print information for spouses on how to cope with a partner’s sensory loss should be available and accessible for couples attending sensory rehabilitation clinics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume41
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)796-807
Number of pages12
ISSN0963-8288
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • coping, Hard of hearing, hearing loss, low vision, psychological well-being, vision loss

ID: 217652707