Influence of content of patients testimonials on the evaluation of patient characteristics.

Brakel, T. & Dijkstra, A., 2008, In : Psychology & Health. 23, S1, p. 71 1 p., 23.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractAcademic

Background: Personal disclosures of patients may influence how they are evaluated by others. These evaluations may be influenced by the information the patient provides but also by the recipients needs.

Methods: In an experimental study, healthy female participants (N = 61) listened to a female cancer patient’s testimonial (25 minutes) in which the patient told about either her negative emotions during radiation therapy or coping strategies she used. The dependent variable was participant’s evaluation of the patient.

Findings: The results showed a main effect of condition, meaning that patients who told about their coping were perceived as more sympathetic, courageous and realistic. As indicated by a significant interaction, this effect was especially strong in participants with a strong inclination to compare themselves to others.

Discussion: These data show that the personal information that patients provide to others influences how others perceive them. This may have consequences for the others’ motivation to provide social support.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Pages (from-to)71
Number of pages1
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • type of information, negative emotions, evaluation of patients characteristics, coping strategies

ID: 17465772