Co-morbid depression and chronic illness related to coping and physical and mental health status

Mirella Di Benedetto, Helen Lindner, Helen Aucote, Jacqui Churcher, Stephen Mckenzie, Natalie Croning, Erin Jenkins

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17 Citations (Scopus)


A partial latent structural regression analysis was used to evaluate the role of coping resources, depression, diet and exercise on mental and physical health status. The sample consisted of 113 participants (59 females and 54 males) with a mean age of 59.38 years (SD = 10.52). Coping resources, depression and exercise explained 52 and 26% of the variance in mental and physical health status, respectively. Fewer coping resources predicted higher levels of depression and both predicted worse mental health. Only higher levels of depression predicted worse physical health status. There were also significant indirect effects of coping on mental and physical health status through depression. The development of cognitive, social and emotional coping strategies is important for managing depression and supporting positive mental health. These results highlight the important role of health psychologists in the care of individuals with chronic illness. Additionally, the management of depression is important in maintaining positive physical health. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coping resources
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Health
  • Path model

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