OBJECTIVES: To determine the association between two regulatory foci (i.e. promotion and prevention focus) and distress in patients with chronic disease requiring self-management, and to determine whether these associations were moderated by partner support.
DESIGN AND METHOD: Four hundred and seventy-seven patients with diabetes, asthma, or heart disease completed a postal survey consisting of the Regulatory Focus Questionnaire, questionnaires measuring active engagement (i.e. supportive behaviour) and protective buffering and overprotection (i.e. unsupportive behaviour) by the partner as perceived by the patient, and the General Health Questionnaire-12 to measure distress.
RESULTS: A promotion focus was negatively associated with distress. This association was only found when patients reported that their partner engaged in relatively low levels of active engagement or relatively high levels of protective buffering and overprotection. The positive association between prevention focus and distress was not consistently found to be moderated by partner support.
CONCLUSION: Active engagement appears to buffer against high distress in patients with a weak promotion focus, while protective buffering and overprotection appear to aggravate distress in these patients.
- chronic diseases
- diabetes mellitus
- health promotion
- heart diseases
- interpersonal relations
- social support
- stress, psychological