The effects of negative affectivity on self-reported activity limitations in stroke patients: Testing the Symptom Perception, Disability and Psychosomatic Hypotheses

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This study investigated whether Negative Affectivity (NA) causes bias in self-report measures of activity limitations or whether NA has a real, non-artifactual association with activity limitations. The Symptom Perception Hypothesis (NA negatively biases self-reporting), Disability Hypothesis (activity limitations cause NA) and Psychosomatic Hypothesis (NA causes activity limitations) were examined longitudinally using both self-report and objective activity limitations measures. Participants were 101 stroke patients and their caregivers interviewed within two weeks of discharge, six weeks later and six months post-discharge. NA and self-report, proxy-report and observed performance activity (walking) limitations were assessed at each interview. NA was associated with activity limitations across measures. Both the Disability and Psychosomatic Hypotheses were supported: initial NA predicted objective activity limitations at six weeks but, additionally, activity limitations at six weeks predicted NA at six months. These results suggest that NA both affects and is affected by activity limitations and does not simply influence reporting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-206
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008



  • negative affectivity
  • activity limitations
  • measurement
  • self-report
  • self-reportbias
  • disability
  • hospital anxiety
  • depression scale
  • distress
  • predictors
  • recovery
  • impact
  • care

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