Assessment of coping with muscular dystrophy: a methodological evaluation


Gerd Ahlström, Örebro College for the Health Professions, PO Box 1323, S-701 13 Örebro, Sweden


There is no published research on coping with muscular dystrophy among adults In the present study, two questionnaires, the Reaction to the Diagnosis of Cancer Questionnaire (RDCQ) and the Mental Adjustment to Cancer scale (MAC), were modified in order to measure coping with muscular dystrophy (MD) A total of 60 people (16–64 years) with diagnosed MD answered the questionnaires in two interviews including semi-structured questions The replies to these questions were analysed by two independent judges on the basis of the RDCQ and MAC categories for coping The purpose was twofold to investigate if cancer-coping categories could be used for the classification of interview answers concerning coping with MD, and to gain knowledge about specific coping with MD Analysis indicated that 82% of replies to semi-structured questions concerned with emotion/appraisal-focused coping with MD can be descnbed by means of RDCQ and MAC categories Eight new categories were developed to classify the remaining 18% Anticipation, Creation of new life values, Minimization, Establishment of control over everyday life, Secretiveness, Fear, Social comparison and Coping with heredity hi addition, 997 replies were classified to represent problem-focused coping The judges reached good agreement with respect to the proportions of replies in the respective coping categories However, kappa (K) values were within the range of fair to good agreement