Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 220–229 | Cite as

Repression and Coping Styles in Asthmatic Patients

  • Beatriz González-Freire
  • Isabel Vázquez-Rodríguez
  • Pedro Marcos-Velázquez
  • Carlos González de la Cuesta


The objectives of this study were to (a) determine prevalence of the dispositional repressive coping style as well as other situational coping styles in a sample of asthmatic patients and (b) to analyze the capacity of these styles to predict subsequent morbidity (emergency room visits or hospitalizations due to asthma) during a 12-month follow-up. A sample of 75 adult asthmatic patients was selected and information about sociodemographics, asthma severity, and patient’s perception of illness severity was collected. Repressive coping style was defined by a combination of scores obtained on the Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Coping styles were assessed with the dispositional version of the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced Inventory. Eighteen patients (24%) were classified as repressors. Repressor asthmatics obtained scores significantly lower on Emotion-Focused Coping compared to non-repressors (F (1,72) = 5.15, p = .026). Patients who perceived their asthma as severe reported to use Emotion-Focused Coping more than those who judged it as mild or moderate (F (2,71) = 4.83, p = .011). A higher use of Denial (an Emotion-Focused strategy of coping) explained 8% of variance of the frequency of emergency room visits during the 12-month follow-up. The prevalence of repressive coping style in the asthmatic population is similar to that registered in other populations of chronic patients, and it is also associated with the tendency to report a lower use of strategies traditionally considered as maladaptive. The use of Emotion-Focused Coping strategies seems to be related to a worse perception of the physical status, and among this group of strategies, Denial also could favor a poor clinical course in bronchial asthma.


Asthma Coping Repressive coping style Coping styles 



The authors would like to thank the nursing staff and physicians of Departments of Pneumology and Allergology of the Complexo Hospitalario of Ourense (Spain). This work was supported by grants from Dirección General de Ordenación y Calidad del Sistema Universitario de Galicia, Consellería de Educación y Ordenación Universitaria de la Xunta de Galicia and Fondo Social Europeo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatriz González-Freire
    • 1
  • Isabel Vázquez-Rodríguez
    • 2
  • Pedro Marcos-Velázquez
    • 3
  • Carlos González de la Cuesta
    • 4
  1. 1.Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Psicología Clínica y Psicobiología, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Servicio de NeumologíaComplexo Hospitalario de OurenseOurenseSpain
  4. 4.Sección de AlergologíaComplexo Hospitalario de OurenseOurenseSpain

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