Mindfully Attending to Variability: Challenging Chronicity Beliefs in Two Populations
Bercovitz, Katherine Elizabeth
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CitationBercovitz, Katherine Elizabeth. 2019. Mindfully Attending to Variability: Challenging Chronicity Beliefs in Two Populations. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractSix out of every ten adults in the United States are diagnosed with at least one chronic condition. These conditions are often considered incurable and are characterized by their persistence—with symptoms lasting over one year. With symptoms infiltrating day-to-day functioning, those with chronic conditions have no choice but to pay attention to them. The overarching question addressed in this dissertation is: Does it matter how someone pays attention to these symptoms?
In two studies, I investigated if the way in which someone pays attention to their symptoms affects health outcomes and perceived personal control. Specifically, I investigated how mindfully paying attention to symptom variability (versus stability) affects personal control and health outcomes. In Study 1, I focused on chronic pain patients and the effects of paying attention to how pain symptoms are fluctuating over time. In Study 2, I focused on older adults who are concerned about age-related memory decline. I discuss the effects of paying attention to how their memory performance is fluctuating over time.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42029665
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