Resilience, self-esteem and self-compassion in adults with spina bifida.Spinal Cord. 2014 Feb; 52(2):167-71.SC
To examine factors that may enhance and promote resilience in adults with spina bifida.
Community-based disability organisations within Australia.
Ninety-seven adults with a diagnosis of spina bifida (SB) completed a survey comprising of demographic questions in addition to standardised self-report measures of physical functioning (Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique), resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, 10 item), self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale), self-compassion (Self-compassion Scale) and psychological distress (Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, 21 item).
The majority (66%) of respondents reported moderate to high resilience. Physical disability impacted on coping, with greater CD-RISC 10 scores reported by individuals who were functionally independent in addition to those who experienced less medical co-morbidities. Significant correlations between resilience and psychological traits (self-esteem r=0.36, P<0.01; self-compassion r=0.40, P<0.01) were also noted. However, the combined contribution of these variables only accounted for 23% of the total variance in resilience scores (R(2)=0.227, F(5,94)=5.23, P<0.01).
These findings extend current understanding of the concept of resilience in adults with a congenital physical disability. The suggestion is that resilience involves a complex interplay between physical determinants of health and psychological characteristics, such as self-esteem and self-compassion. It follows that cognitive behavioural strategies with a focus on self-management may, in part, contribute to the process of resilience in this group. Further large-scale and longitudinal research will help to confirm these findings.