Sense of coherence (SOC) is crucial for adaptation to late effects of polio (LEoP).
SOC is associated with a person's coping behaviours.
Persons with LEoP mostly use problem- and emotion-focused coping behaviours.
Persons with lower SOC use less useful coping behaviours.
Knowledge of SOC and coping behaviours are important in the rehabilitation of LEoP.
Sense of coherence (SOC), comprising “comprehensibility”, “manageability” and “meaningfulness”, is important for successful adaptation in persons with late effects of polio (LEoP) and can be used as an estimate of the ability to cope with stressors. Coping behaviours are the actions a person performs to reduce stress and can be divided into problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping and less useful coping. Our knowledge is very limited of what coping behaviours persons with LEoP use to manage their life situation as well as the association between SOC and coping behaviours.
The aims of this cross-sectional study were to assess coping behaviours and to explore the association between SOC and coping behaviours in persons with LEoP.
In total, 93 ambulant persons (52% women, mean [SD] age 74  years) with clinically and electromyographically verified LEoP responded to a postal survey with the Sense of Coherence Scale 13 items (SOC-13) and the Brief Cope Scale. Three linear regression analyses were used to explore the association between SOC and problem-focused coping, emotion-focused coping and less useful coping, controlling for age and sex.
The most-used coping behaviours belonged to the categories problem-focused and emotion-focused coping. We found a significant negative association between SOC and less useful coping; less useful coping explained 34% of the variance of SOC (adj R2 = 0.34, p < 0.001), whereas age and sex were not significant in the analyses.
Persons with LEoP primarily use problem-focused and emotion-focused coping behaviours, which suggests that generally they have adapted well to their disability. Regardless of age and sex, persons with lower SOC scores use less useful coping behaviours, which suggests that they are not as well adapted. These results can facilitate the development of rehabilitation interventions that help persons with LEoP adapt to their situation with a life-long disability.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Adaptation, Psychological, Disabled persons, Post-poliomyelitis syndrome, Rehabilitation, Sense of coherence