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Emotion and adherence to treatment in people with asthma: an application of the emotional Stroop paradigm

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:39 authored by Donna JessopDonna Jessop, D R Rutter, Dinkar Sharma, Ian P Albery
This study explored whether an emotional Stroop paradigm might represent an appropriate means of assessing individuals' emotional representations of asthma. In addition, the opportunity was taken to investigate whether emotional representations of asthma, as assessed by this method, were associated with adherence to inhaled preventative medication. An asthma Stroop task was devised which comprised three sets of stimuli: asthma symptom words, general negative words, and neutral words. Three groups of participants were compared on their performance on this task: individuals with asthma, individuals without asthma, and individuals without asthma who had been primed about the condition. It was found that individuals with asthma experienced significantly more interference when colour-naming the asthma symptom words, but not when colour-naming the general negative words. Furthermore, their performance on the asthma Stroop task was associated with self-reported adherence levels. Specifically, individuals who reported the highest and lowest levels of adherence displayed more interference when colour-naming the asthma symptom words than individuals with intermediate levels of adherence. It is concluded that the emotional Stroop paradigm might provide an objective and sensitive means of assessing individuals’ emotional representations of illness. Additionally, it is proposed that emotional responses to illness should be assessed and included in research designed to explain health behaviours and, furthermore, that such research should not assume that any relationship between emotional representations and health behaviours will be linear


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  • Published


British Journal of Psychology







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  • Psychology Publications

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