Determinants of Subjective Well-Being of Chronically Ill Patients: Theoretical Considerations and Some Empirical Results
This chapter aims at a multidisciplinary evaluation of clinical and psychological determinants of the well-being of patients suffering from chronic diseases, a study of the mechanisms of interactions of these determinants, and ultimately – at the elaboration of patient-specific strategies best suited to cope with the disease. As a specific sample, we use patients of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), commonly acknowledged as one of the most severe chronic diseases. Using the sample of patients of the Institute for Neurology of the RAMS, we undertake a longitudinal study consisting of survey questionnaire, clinical and psychological investigations and record of daily experiences via Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) in order to evaluate the factual well-being (experienced utility) of the patients, its interaction with judgment about own health state and well-being (evaluated utility), and the mechanism of interaction between them leading to the patient's coping strategy. On the ground of this analysis, we also aim to reveal the channels through which the doctors can affect patient's choice of her coping strategy in a way that is most favourable for the treatment of the disease and patient's well-being in the medium and long run.