Year: 2023 / Volume: 3 / Number: 2
Ledion Musaj, Mr., University of Tirana
Anxhelo Dema, European University of Tirana
Abstract: This study aims to evaluate the psychological and social aspects related to prolonged illness management among individuals diagnosed with chronic illness in the Balkans. Data were collected using self-report measures, including the Patient Activation Measure, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R), Family Support Scale (FSS), Zarit Burden Interview, Patient-Provider Communication Scale, Chronic Illness Anticipated Stigma Scale (CIASS), and Perceived Discrimination Scale. The study involves 250 participants who completed surveys online and conducts multiple regression analysis to examine the interrelationships among the different factors. The results indicate moderate degrees of psychosocial suffering, with depression and anxiety being major factors. Effective coping strategies, familial support, and good communication with medical professionals are positively linked to improved overall results, while heavier burden placed on caregivers and perceived discrimination both exhibit negative correlations with health outcomes. The study emphasizes the need for specialized approaches that reflect a cultural sensibility related to chronic illness management struggles encountered by the population of the Balkans.
Keywords: chronic illness, family support, Balkan, anxiety, depression