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Resilience, self-esteem and self-compassion in adults with spina bifida

M. R. Hayter, D. S. Dorstyn,

Academic Literature


STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.;OBJECTIVES: To examine factors that may enhance and promote resilience in adults with spina bifida.;SETTING: Community-based disability organisations within Australia.;METHODS: Ninety-seven adults with a diagnosis of spina bifida (SB) completed a survey comprising of demographic questions in addition to standardised self-report measures of physical functioning (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique), resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, 10 item), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale), self-compassion (Self-compassion Scale) and psychological distress (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, 21 item).;RESULTS: The majority (66%) of respondents reported moderate to high resilience. Physical disability impacted on coping, with greater CD-RISC 10 scores reported by individuals who were functionally independent in addition to those who experienced less medical co-morbidities. Significant correlations between resilience and psychological traits (self-esteem r=0.36, P<0.01; self-compassion r=0.40, P<0.01) were also noted. However, the combined contribution of these variables only accounted for 23% of the total variance in resilience scores (R(2)=0.227, F(5,94)=5.23, P<0.01).;CONCLUSION: These findings extend current understanding of the concept of resilience in adults with a congenital physical disability. The suggestion is that resilience involves a complex interplay between physical determinants of health and psychological characteristics, such as self-esteem and self-compassion. It follows that cognitive behavioural strategies with a focus on self-management may, in part, contribute to the process of resilience in this group. Further large-scale and longitudinal research will help to confirm these findings.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Spinal Cord

Domain/s: Community and civic participation

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