Examination of psychological and physiological factors affecting the quality of life for individuals with fatiguing illness

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Norton, Catherine
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study is to investigate psychological and physiological factors affecting quality of life for individuals with fatiguing illness. From a perspective of pain levels experienced/expressed, stress suffered, social support, coping skills and personality types of individuals with FMS compared with Scleroderma and Arthritis. FMS Individuals while having no apparent clinical symptoms for their condition compared with Scleroderma or Arthritis patients, present with greater pain symptoms. That personality traits, inadequate coping skills and greater stress levels contribute to higher pain and disability being experienced. Further, this will be exasperated by lack of social support networks and lack of proper recognition by health professionals. 627 Participants from Dublin based hospitals and support groups. Results indicated 1) no difference in the level of pain intensity expressed by FMS patients compared to that expressed by Scleroderma or Arthritis patients. 2) 'Quality of Life' was found to be significantly lower for FMS patients. 3) Patients with FMS were found to be more stressed with lower coping skills contributing to lower pain thresholds. 4) Personality traits do have a link with FMS. 5) Increased irritability levels of FMS patients were also indicated.