Emerging evidence indicates self-compassion can be beneficial for medical populations and for medical adherence; yet, research to date has not fully examined the reasons for this association. This study examined the association of dispositional self-compassion to adherence across five medical samples and tested the extent to which perceived stress accounted for this association. Five medical samples (total N = 709), including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cancer patients, recruited from various sources, completed online surveys. Self-compassion was positively associated with adherence in all five samples. A meta-analysis of the associations revealed a small average effect size (average r = .22, [0.15, 0.29]) of self-compassion and adherence and non-significant heterogeneity among the effects (Q (4) = 3.15, p = .532). A meta-analysis of the kappa2 values from the indirect effects of self-compassion on adherence revealed that, on average, 11% of the variance in medical adherence that was explained by self-compassion could be attributed to lower perceived stress. Overall, findings demonstrate that dispositional self-compassion is associated with better medical adherence among people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cancer, due in part to lower stress. This research contributes to a growing evidence base indicating the value of self-compassion for health-related behaviours in a variety of medical populations.
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Sirois, Fuschia M.; and Hirsch, Jameson K.. 2019. Self-Compassion and Adherence in Five Medical Samples: the Role of Stress. Mindfulness. Vol.10(1). 46-54. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0945-9 ISSN: 1868-8527