Feeling angry about health status linked to disease progression

This research study was originally published in BMC Public Health on July 16, 2016.  Authored by Tiffany Gill, K. Price, E. Dal Grande, A. Daly, and A.W. Taylor.

Abstract

Background

Feeling angry about their health status may influence disease progression in individuals, creating a greater burden on the health care system. Identifying associations between different variables and feeling angry about health status may assist health professionals to improve health outcomes. This study used path analysis to explore findings from a population-based survey, informed by qualitative descriptions obtained from focus groups, to determine the prevalence of health-related anger within the community and variables associated with reporting health-related anger.

Methods

A population-based Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) survey of 3003 randomly selected adults Australia-wide was conducted to examine the prevalence of health-related anger. A wide range of other covariates were included in the survey. Multivariable logistic regression and path analysis were undertaken to identify the relationships between different variables associated with feeling angry about the health status of people, to explore the direction of these associations and as a consequence of the results, consider implications for health service use and delivery.

Results

Overall, 18.5 % of the population reported feeling angry about their health “some of the time”, “most of the time” or “all of the time”. People who felt angry about their health were more likely to have a severe health condition, at least one chronic condition, high psychological distress, fair to poor health status, and needed to adjust their daily lives because of a health condition. Having a tertiary level education was protective. Receiving some form of social support, usually from a support group, and not always doing as advised by a doctor, were also associated with a higher likelihood of being angry about their health.

Conclusions

People living with significant health problems are more likely to feel angry about their health. The path between illness and anger is, however, complex. Further research is needed to understand the extent that feeling angry influences the progression of health problems and, if necessary, how to minimise this progression. What also needs examining is whether identifying people who feel angry in the general population could be a predictor of persons most likely to develop significant health problems.

Read full study here.