How Can Social Connectedness Foster Patient Resilience? Essay
Potential implications for health care practice and health campaigns
Background: Resilience is one’s capacity to maintain or regain well-being in the face of adversity, such as having a physical illness (Stewart & Yuen, 2011). Building health resilience has become a prominent health care goal and identifying the factors that allow people to adapt successfully to a negative life event is becoming more and more important (Wulff, Donato, & Lurie, 2014). A recent study showed that resilient individuals have a better 10-year survival chance (25% less likely to die) than non-resilient individuals suffering from chronic pain (Elliott, Burton, & Hannaford, 2014), highlighting the importance of resilience research.
Regarding the operationalization, inferring the level of resilience from successful adaptation to adversity is generally accepted (Luthar & Zelazo, 2003). For example, Elliott, Burton, & Hannaford, (2014) categorized individuals as resilient if they reported low pain-related disability in presence of high-intensity pain. Similarly, we conceptualized resilience as retaining high level of life satisfaction despite of having a chronic physical illness. Life satisfaction is a reliable proxy of well-being as it is considered to be a cognitive measure of subjective quality of one’s life (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999).
Resilience has several intrapersonal and interpersonal predictors (Buzzanell, 2010; Davydov, Stewart,…