Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 74 Issue 3 (September 2001), Pages 277-418

Personal appraisal of the experience of a depressive disorder (pages 399-412)

In a prospective study, 61 patients receiving ongoing treatment for Major Depression rated the personal significance of the disorder by using the Personal Appraisal Inventory (PAI) (Bookless, Clayer & McFarlane, 2000) twice over a period of 7 months. The initial (Time 1) association between the individual items of the PAI and self‐reported levels of depression, anxiety, disability, self‐esteem and psychological distress was examined. It was found that these variables related to some items pertaining to appraisal of the harm and threat engendered by the disorder, but did not relate to appraisal of the positive and negative options for managing the disorder. Seven months later (Time 2) few significant changes were found in the way people appraised the impact of the disorder however, levels of depression, anxiety, disability and distress at Time 2 were predicted by several appraisal items. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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