Open Universiteit

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Are support groups beneficial for fibromyalgia patients? The negative effects of social comparison for those who want it most
Authors: Groothof, Hinke A.K.
Scholtes, Ria
Keywords: support groups
social comparison
negative affect
social comparison orientation
Issue Date: Aug-2007
Publisher: European Health Psychology Society Conference 2007
Abstract: Peer support plays an important role in coping with many chronic health problems. Peer support may, however, contain a risk. Research has indicated that people with high social comparison orientation (SCO) are, on the one hand, more interested in contact with peers, but may, on the other hand, be negatively affected when they are confronted with peers who are worse-off. The present research studied the influence of SCO on the affective consequences of social comparison with worse-off peers during peer support among fibromyalgia patients. We predicted that fibromyalgia patients, as they have a higher SCO seek more contact with other fibromyalgia patients, identify themselves more strongly with worse-off fibromyalgia patients, and experience more negative affect when meeting worse-off fibromyalgia patients because of this increased identification. The study was carried out among 88 fibromyalgia patients recruited at support group meetings and through the website of a Dutch organization for fibromyalgia patients. The results supported our hypothesis. Despite the many beneficial effects of peer support, the present study showed that as fibromyalgia patients have a higher need to compare themselves with others, they are more negatively affected by social comparison with peers who are worse-off, because they tend to identify themselves with worse-off others.
Appears in Collections:1. PSY: publications and preprints

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
EHPS posterGROOTHOF.pdf79.52 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.