Preventive coping among people with severe mental illness in daily life: strategies used and associations with mood

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2014 Aug;60(5):489-91. doi: 10.1177/0020764013501291. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Background: Preventive coping refers to efforts that are taken to reduce the likelihood of experiencing, or lessen the impact of, stress in the future.

Aims: The present investigation explored the use of preventive strategies in daily life among people with severe mental illness, and examined the association between types of preventive strategies used and end-of-day mood.

Methods: Participants included 27 adults diagnosed with severe mental illness who completed up to 20 daily interviews each (375 interviews were completed in total), which assessed preventive coping and end-of-day mood.

Results: The most commonly (across participants) and frequently (within participant days) endorsed preventive strategies were accessing social support and engaging in activities/hobbies. Participants tended to have less positive mood at end-of-day on days in which either no, or more passive, strategies were used.

Conclusions: Findings supported that preventive strategies are frequently used by members of this population, and that accessing social support and engaging in activities/hobbies are the most frequently used preventive strategies. Findings also suggest that the use of no or more passive preventive strategies was associated with less positive mood at end of day.

Keywords: Coping; daily interviewing; mood; severe mental illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Acute Disease / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Recreation / psychology
  • Social Support