Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The present research explored several issues pertaining to information seeking as a coping disposition and stress management for patients having to undergo a noxious medical procedure (a cardiac catheterization test). The role of information seeking as a coping disposition was investigated in relation to (1) differences in the disposition of desire for control, to (2) differential effectiveness of an information based preparatory intervention, and to (3) differences in coping efforts made during the catheterization. Seventy-two male and female patients undergoing cardiac catheterization for the first time were randomly assigned to either a high or low information preparation condition. Dispositional desire for information was assessed with the Krantz Health Opinion Survey and the Miller Behavioral Styles Scale. No evidence was found for a relationship between a desire for information and a desire for control. Patients who received preparatory information consistent with their dispositional desire for information exhibited less behavioral anxiety during the catheterization. Self-report and physiological measures did not yield any significant differences. Matching between level of preparatory information and dispositional desire for information also resulted in a pattern of more problem focused and less emotional focused coping during the catheterization. Coping disposition alone did not have any effects on adjustment during the catheterization. In contrast, information condition did have independent effects on adjustment. Patients who received high preparatory information had more positive self-statements during the catheterization and took significantly less time for the procedure to be completed. The findings are discussed with regard to previous studies on the interaction between information preference and preparatory stress management, and current concepts of coping processes bearing on individual differences. Clinical implications of the findings are also discussed.



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