Anosognosia and denial: Their relationship to coping and depression in acquired brain injury

  • Kortte K
  • Wegener S
  • Chwalisz K
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Objective: To evaluate relations among denial, anosognosia, coping strategies, and depression in persons with brain injury. Study Design: Correlational. Setting: A Midwest residential, post–acute brain injury rehabilitation center. Participants: Twenty-seven adults with brain injury. Measures: Clinician’s Rating Scale for Evaluating Impaired Self-Awareness and Denial of Disability After Brain Injury, COPE, Beck Depression Inventory—II. Results: Denial and anosognosia were related and co-occurred. Use of process coping strategies was associated with greater use of problem-focused coping strategies. Higher levels of denial were associated with greater use of avoidant coping strategies, and greater use of these coping strategies was related to higher levels of depression. Conclusions: Individuals primarily in denial and individuals primarily anosognosic differ in the coping strategies they institute. Avoidant coping strategies are used more frequently by individuals in denial, and use of these strategies is associated with higher levels of clinical depression.

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  • Kathleen Bechtold Kortte

  • Stephen T. Wegener

  • Kathleen Chwalisz

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