The Common‐Sense Model and Mental Illness Outcomes: A Meta‐Analysis
Kimber, Justin M.
McAndrew, Lisa M.
Is Version Of
Psychotherapists can improve their patients’ outcomes during and after therapy by improving patients’ self-management. Patients who do not effectively manage their mental illness generally have worse outcomes. Leventhal’s Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation theorizes that patients’ perceptions of their illness (illness representations) guide their self-management, influencing health outcomes. The present study quantified the relations between illness representations, self-management, and outcomes for mental illnesses. We conducted a meta-analysis and included articles if they reported: 1) on adults with mental illnesses; and 2) the correlation between mental illness representations and mental illness outcomes. 25 articles were included which represented 28 independent samples. The pattern of correlations among illness representations (identity, consequences, timeline, control, coherence, and emotional representations), self-management strategies (attendance, engagement, and adherence to treatment) and mental illness outcomes (symptom severity and quality of life) was consistent with analyses from previous studies of mental and physical illnesses. The results found threat-related illness representations mostly had a large relationship with worse mental illness outcomes and self-management. Protective illness representations had a small-to-large relationship with better mental illness outcomes and self-management. The results suggest patients’ perceptions of their mental illness may be a critical indicator of their mental illness outcomes, including symptom severity and quality of life. This theory-driven meta-analysis supports calls for the inclusion of illness representations in psychotherapy for mental illness.
This accepted article is published as Cannon, M, Crede, M, Kimber, JM, Brunkow, A, Nelson, R, McAndrew, LM. The Common-Sense Model and Mental Illness Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2022. Accepted Author Manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2721. Posted with permission.