Proactive coping in schizophrenia: correlation with social functioning
Introduction. Schizophrenia is the most common psychotic disorder in the world. Being neurodegenerative, however, it has a number of symptoms that occur exclusively in social and cognitive functioning of patients. Stress-vulnerability theories of schizophrenia have suggested that multiple confluent variables influence disease outcome, including environmental factors (Nuechterlein & Dawson 1984). It is known that people with schizophrenia tend to employ poor problem-solving strategies, adopt passive coping styles, and have a propensity to avoid stressors (Lysaker et al. 2003). These tendencies negatively impact quality of life, social functioning and relapse risk, especially when patients face stressful events (Horan et al. 2007). There is a growing interest of scientists to study the proactive coping in mental disorders, including in patients with schizophrenia (Rocha et al., 2014).
Participants and methods. The sample consisted of 65 patients (42 males и 23 females) recruited from psychiatric clinic in Orenburg (Russia) with an ICD-10 diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. All of the patients were assessed for social functioning with GAF scale. Also we used The Proactive Coping Inventory (PCI; Greenglass, 2002). Data were analysed using Pearson correlations to determine the strength of the relationship between the scores of social/psychological functioning and proactive coping.
Results. 23,07% of patients got 51-60 scores of social functioning. 53,3% of patients got 41-50 scores. 24,61% of patients got 31-40 scores. Significant associations were observed between all subscales of the PCI and social functioning rating. GAF scores were significantly correlated with proactive coping (r = .513), reflective coping (r = .437), strategic planning (r = .290), preventive coping (r = .409) and instrumental support seeking (r = .431). GAF scores had negative correlation with emotional support seeking (r = - .446). In sum, our study finds that social/psychological functioning is associated with proactive coping in schizophrenia.