University of Twente Student Theses


Self-compassion in the context of chronic illnesses : an explorative study

Witter, T.B. (2020) Self-compassion in the context of chronic illnesses : an explorative study.

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Abstract:People suffering from chronic illnesses face a wide range of mental and physical challenges in their daily lives. Self-compassion offers a way of dealing with these adversaries in a more positive and friendly manner. However, the research landscape is scarce in terms of how these individuals experience self-compassion in the context of chronic illnesses. This study attempted to fill this gap in research. A convenience sample of 12 female participants affected by chronic illnesses practiced a range of self-compassion exercises, followed by a semi-structured interview, where participants were asked to share their experiences of self-compassion. Results indicated that self-compassion encompassed four key dimensions: acceptance, putting things into perspective, self-kindness (mental and behavioral), and proactive behavior. The findings complement existing literature by providing concrete examples of mental and behavioral self-compassion experience among chronic patients. Particularly, the findings add to the existing conceptualizations of self-compassion by enriching behavioral dimensions. Further research could build on our findings and identify means to increase understandability and actionability of self-compassion for patients in the context of chronic illnesses.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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