Sense making and benefit finding among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their primary caregivers

J Health Psychol. 2010 Jan;15(1):115-21. doi: 10.1177/1359105309344897.


The associations of sense making and benefit finding with depressive symptoms were examined among patient and caregiver pairs coping with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Benefit finding, but not sense making, was associated with fewer depressive symptoms for both patients and caregivers. Patient and caregiver pairs where neither found benefit had more depressive symptoms compared to pairs where at least one member found benefit. Patients cited benefits related to relationships and caregivers were more likely to cite finding personal strength as a benefit. Results suggest situational constraints to making sense and on the kinds of benefit that can be found.

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires