A Comparative Study of the Psychosocial Assets of Adults with Cystic Fibrosis and Their Healthy Peers: Discussion (Part 4)

Differences did emerge on two questions. The first showed that adults with CF considered their families more accepting of changes in life-style and the undertaking of new activities—a difference many would consider entirely healthy. The second showed members of the CF group to be less satisfied with their sexual activities. This difference, however, was due entirely to an increased level of sexual dissatisfaction among unmarried members of the CF group. Coffman et al have also reported single young adults with CF to be less sexually content than members of a healthy comparison group and suggest that impaired selfimage may be responsible. Given our finding that married adults with CF were as sexually satisfied as their married healthy peers, it may be that higher selfimage predisposes both to marriage and to sexual satisfaction. buy flovent inhaler

Despite the many points of similarity between the CF and the comparison groups found in this study, it would be naive to suggest that the presence of a progressive, life-shortening disease exacts no costs. One such cost may be an increased likelihood of impaired physical self-image and subsequent sexual dissatisfaction for unmarried, young adults. Another may be an increased risk of lowered autonomy. When two aspects of autonomy—living arrangements (with or away from parents) and financial independence— were combined and this new variables distribution within the CF and the comparison groups examined, we found that a subset of CF adults (43 percent) enjoys as much autonomy as healthy adults, but that another (30 percent, which is significantly larger than the corresponding subset in the healthy comparison group) remains in highly dependent roles, living at home, and relying on others for financial support.

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