Abstract: Objectives: The "Body Image Questionnaire" (FKB-20, Clement & Löwe, 1996) is often used assessing body image disturbances, but there has been no standardization of the instrument as yet. Aims of the present study were testing, validation and standardization of the FKB-20 using a representative non-clinical German sample. Methods: FKB-20 was psychometrically tested in a representative German survey (573 probands from Eastern Germany and 1900 from Western Germany). The validity of the in-strument was explored…using the "Questionnaire Assessing Physical Well-being" (FEW-16, Kolip & Schmidt, 1999). Results: The statistical properties of the instrument proved satisfying. Women, people from Western Germany and those with lower education scored higher on the scale "Rejecting body evaluation" Women, older persons and those with lower education scored lower on the scale "Vital body dynamics" Positive correlations with the "Questionnaire Assessing Physical Well-being" gave hints for the validity of the FKB-20. Conclusion: The FKB-20 is an economic instrument for diagnosing body image disturbances in the clinical field, but also for assessing subjective aspects of body experience in non-clinical contexts. Norms for a non-clinical representative German population are now available.
Keywords: Body image, representative survey, standardization, questionnaire
Abstract: Objectives: Research on the correlation of unemployment and health has a long tradition. This correlation is explained by two opposite hypotheses: The causality theory proposes the occurance of health impairments as a consequence of unemployment; according to the selectivity theory, however, psychologically impaired persons are more likely to become unemployed than healthier individuals. Methods: Both hypotheses are examined by analysing the three waves of the Saxonian profile study (1991, 1996, 2004). The sample contains…N=153 persons that were interviewed at all three waves. The average age increased from M=18 years in 1991 to M=31 in 2004. 57% of the sample were female. The subjective psychological distress was measured by a newly designed 4-item instrument, the D-Score, which was proven to be reliable and valid. In addition, experiences with unemployment were acquired. Results: In 1996 nearly 50% of the respondents had already experiences with unemploy-ment, in 2004 nearly 60%. The duration of unemployment was associated with the D-Score within the individual waves: Persons, who were unemployed for a longer time, were more distressed in each case. The psychological condition from earlier waves was strongly correlated with the total period of unemployment experienced, which was raised in 2004. Conclusion: The results give hints for both causality and selection hypotheses. More distressed persons may become unemployed more frequently, and unemployment may in turn lead to more pronounced distress. Thus, an interplaying, self-energizing effect of selection and causality may be assumed in the sense of a vicious circle: Psychologically impaired persons are more often unemployed and then suffer more from the consequences of their unemployment. This in turn may lead to poor chances on the job market.
Keywords: Unemployment, Distress, Young Adults, Causality, Selection
Abstract: This longitudinal study examines the importance of illness representation for the quality of life (QoL) and emotional well-being of cancer patients after surgery. The theoretical background of the study is Leventhal and colleagues' Common Sense Model of Illness Representation, which proposes a linear causality between subjective illness representations, coping, and phys-ical or emotional outcomes. The sample consisted of 65 women and 91 men who had undergone surgery for either gastro-intestinal or lung cancer, or…the suspicion of having such a cancer, and who participated in the study at three measurement points (T1: one – three days prior to surgery, T2: one month and T3: six months after surgery). Patients expected illness duration and their perceptions of control changed over time. The ranking of various causal attributions did not change over the three measurement points. The strength of beliefs that were highly relevant from a medical point of view, for example stress, environmental pollution, heredity and own behavior, increased significantly over time. While perceived control (T1) predicted QoL and depression (T3) mediated by positive reframing (T2), the expectancy of a short illness duration at T1 revealed a direct path to QoL and depression at T3. This result remained stable when controlling for initial values for QoL and depression at T1.
Keywords: Illness representation, coping, quality of life, common sense model of illness representation, cancer
Abstract: Introduction: In back pain, often no correlation between subjective complaints and objective diagnoses can be found. This paper examines both the amount and type of bodily complaints in back pain patients compared with samples of both the general population and psychosomatic patients. Furthermore the relationship between bodily complaints and different facets of chronic pain are investigated. Methods: Bodily complaints were ascertained using the Giessen Complaints Check List (Giessener Beschwerdebogen, GBB-24) in three samples:…patients with chronic back pain (n=691), persons from the general population (n=1979) and psychosomatic-psychothera-peutic patients (n=1642). Additionally, we investigated the relationship between the GBB-24 scales and the severity of chronification (Mainz Pain Staging System MPSS), pain related parameters (pain intensity, pain assessment scale SES), emotional distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale HADS-D), parameters of the medical history and muscle strength. Results: Compared with the general population, patients with back pain reported higher degrees of limb pains (including back pain), and exhaustion. In contrast to the psychosomatic sample, they did not report increased rates of heart and stomach complaints. All complaints were related to severity of chronification, emotional distress and pain-related parameters. Conclusions: Chronic back pain patients report higher degrees of limb (back) pain and ex-haustion as compared to the general population. Although, in contrast to psychosomatic pa-tients, heart and stomach complaints are not increased in back pain patients, these com-plaints are correlated with parameters of chronicity. Further research should clarify the role of these complaints during the process of chronification.