VF in the News

Examining the Psychological Impact of Vasculitis

Helen Mayor is a VF member and a third year Bsc psychology student at York St. John University, United Kingdom. As part of her dissertation project, she is investigating the psychological impact of Vasculitis through an online questionnaire. Helen has Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA/Wegener’s) so has personal insight into the project.  The study has been granted ethical approval by York St John’s psychology ethics board.

The aim of the study is to investigate the psychological impact of Vasculitis. More specifically it is investigating both positive and negative aspects of an individual’s thinking in people with Vasculitis.

Previous chronic illness research has found a link between maladaptive metacognitions and anxiety and depression. Maladaptive metacognitions are thoughts about thoughts, for example worrying about worry. Much of this type of research has focused on explaining the negative aspects of psychological health and distress.

However, a new measure has been developed to measure positive metacognitions and meta-emotions, i.e. those that contribute to psychological well-being. It has been highlighted that Vasculitis can have a positive psychological impact, in addition to a negative one. For example, through benefit finding and psychological growth as a result of the illness.

Therefore, the study is investigating the factors that contribute to psychological adaptation in Vasculitis and this requires a presence of positive metacognitions, in addition to an absence of maladaptive ones. The results of this study will allow a better understanding of why Vasculitis has a negative psychological impact in some cases and a positive one in others. This could then be applied when seeking to address the problems of anxiety and depression in Vasculitis patients.

The questionnaire is electronic in format and measures anxiety and depression, life satisfaction, and positive metacognitions and meta-emotions. It also asks for information such as patient age, length of illness, medication, type of Vasculitis and disease status. All information will be anonymous and confidentiality is assured. The study has been granted ethical approval by York St John’s psychology ethics board.

The deadline to participate is January 31, 2013. Click here to access the study.

For more information please contact Helen Mayor.