|Abstract: ||The aim of the conducted research was to learn the psychological mechanisms leading to health in relatives who support patients with leukaemia.
The Functional Health Model developed by Helena Wrona-Polańska (2003), which is based on a systems theory that takes into account the relationship between a person and his or her environment, is the theoretical basis of the work. According to Wrona-Polańska (2003, 2011), health is understood as a function of creative coping with stress, where the key role is played by resources or their deficits, which determine the effectiveness of coping. The fundamental importance in the adopted model is attributed to the pro-health personality, a complex variable that influences three pathways to health (the competence path, the emotional path and the tension path).
The research covered 100 people supporting patients with leukaemia. A standardized interview constructed on the basis of the Questionnaire of Stressful Life Events (KWS) by Helena Wrona-Polańska (2003), estimated scales and questionnaire tools were used in the research. Health was defined on the basis of the operational definition of health given by Wrona-Polańska (2003), it was measured with five indicators: a sense of health, a sense of calm, a sense of quality of life, a sense of lack of fatigue and participation in social life. The result obtained by the participants on the scale of anxiety as a state (Wrona-Polańska, 2011) was the indicator of stress level. Styles of coping with stress were measured by using the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations Questionnaire (CISS). The questionnaire and standardized interviews were used to study the resources. Self-esteem was measured with The Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (SES), sense of coherence was measured with Antonovsky's sense of coherence (SOC-29), dispositional anxiety was measure with State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI X-2) developed by D. Spielberg, J. Strelau, M. Tysarczyk and K. Wrześniewski, sense of support and self-efficacy in struggling with the disease of a close relative was measured with a standardized interview.
The analysis of the results was qualitative and quantitative, and included the following groups of variables: health, stress and coping styles as well as resources. The statistical analyses, that were carried out, revealed that 2/3 of the participants assessed their health as average or high. Half of the people supporting leukaemia patients experience a high level of stress. 1/4 of respondents have a low level of sense of coherence and control, 1/3 of respondents have a low
sense of support and self-efficacy in coping with the disease of a close relative, half of the respondents have a high level of dispositional anxiety.
The statistical analyses, that were carried out, enabled to determine the predictors of health, stress and coping with stress. The regression analysis revealed that the positive predictors of health of people supporting leukaemia patients are: seeking social contacts and a sense of support from others, while negative ones are: a style focused on emotions and dispositional anxiety. Stress is explained by a style focused on emotions, a sense of coherence and dispositional anxiety. Subjective resources are the psychological mechanisms conditioning the health of people supporting leukaemia patients. The resources affect the health of close relatives who support patients with leukaemia, strengthen the sense of health, counteract high levels of stress and condition the coping with a difficult situation such as a close relative’s suffering from leukaemia. Health is conducive to the search for social contacts understood as seeking support, a strong sense of coherence, a sense of support from others and positive self- esteem, which helps to avoid concentration on negative emotions and motivates to engage in activities that release positive emotions. Concentration on negative emotions and high level of dispositional anxiety threaten the health of the participants.
The results of the research can be applied in psychological practice - to construct preventive and health promoting programs among people supporting patients with leukaemia.|