This project explores the validity of a model proposed for the maintenance of subjective quality of life with people with MS, partners of people with MS, and people unaffected by chronic illness. This model proposes that a combination of cognitive variables and processes maintain subjective quality of life in the adaptive range, and that the relative contribution to subjective quality of life varies between subject groups. The project is also interested in a comparison between people with partners and people without partners.
The project explores this model through two linked studies. The main study explores the variables of the proposed model through a self-administered set of questionnaires. As these questionnaires have not before been used with people with MS, the first study assesses the validity and utility of a set of questionnaires for people with MS through a technique called 'photovoice'. Nine people with MS were provided with disposal cameras and asked to take photographs of things that positively and negatively affected their quality of life. These photographs were then used as a starting point for a discussion with the participants about their quality of life. The discussions focused on the factors identified in the photographs and the way in which participants coped with life difficulties. This first study is complete, and the second study is currently underway.