Future expectations and life orientation of thalassemia-major patients
Bush, Sharon F.
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Thirty-two Thalassemia-Major patients participated in a comparison study of future expectations and life orientation with fifty-two healthy subjects. Levels of positive expectations concerning work, relationships, parenting and making future plans were hypothesized to be similar among the Thalassemia and healthy subjects. Thalassemia subjects were hypothesized to have higher levels of internal health locus of control than the comparison subjects. Similar levels of optimism, hopelessness and emotional support were hypothesized to exist among both subject groups. Hopelessness was hypothesized to be negatively related to future orientation, optimism, internal health locus of control, and emotional support. Future orientation was hypothesized to be positively related to optimism, internal health locus of control and emotional support. Participants completed the Future Expectations Inventory, Vaux Social Support Appraisals Scale, Life Orientation Test, Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales. No significant differences were found between the Thalassemia and healthy subject groups on measures of future expectations, optimism, and hopelessness. The Thalassemia group was found to have higher levels of internal health locus of control, powerful others health locus of control, and emotional support. Future expectations were found to be positively associated with optimism, internal health locus of control and emotional support from family and friends. The Thalassemia subjects were found to be distinguished from healthy subjects by their belief that powerful others influence their health and by higher levels of social support from health professionals. Psychological variables associated with Thalassemia status were powerful other health locus of control and greater internal health locus of control. Further explorations of the data revealed optimism, internal health locus of control, hopelessness and religion to be unique significant contributors to the variance of future expectations. Clinical and research implications are discussed.