Predicting treatment course and outcome using a promotion and prevention framework in a community sample of arthritis sufferers.
OBJECTIVE: The present study examined the proposition that patients need to focus on something beyond simply "getting better". In a sample of arthritis sufferers, we distinguished individuals by the goals that motivated them - moving toward aspirational goals and maximizing gains (promotion focus) rather than obligations and minimizing losses (prevention focus) - and how these motivational styles influenced treatment. METHODS: Patients (N=254) participated in a randomized controlled trial of resistance training and self-management, providing 6 time points of data over 2 years. Promotion and prevention focus at baseline were used to predict the course (compliance and changes in coping self-efficacy) and outcome (changes in physical functioning) of treatment. RESULTS: Arthritis sufferers with strong promotion orientations showed significant improvements in physical functioning (a direct positive impact on physical health); there were no significant associations with treatment compliance and coping self-efficacy. Arthritis sufferers with strong prevention orientations complied less with the treatment and showed little change in coping self-efficacy during treatment, which, in turn, predicted worse physical functioning over time (a pernicious, indirect influence on treatment outcome). CONCLUSION: A focus on positive approach-oriented goals may improve overall treatment response, whereas a focus on negative avoidance-oriented goals may degrade treatment response through reduced compliance and self-efficacy.
Blalock, DV; McKnight, PE; Kashdan, TB; Franz, SC
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