University of Leicester
2017NAHRGQDClinPsy.pdf (7.71 MB)

Are illness representations of individuals living with Chronic Kidney Disease predictive of levels of physical activity and associated to depression?

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posted on 2017-09-25, 14:17 authored by Ryan Guo Quan Nah
The Common Sense Model (CSM) of illness representations is a prominent psychological approach used to understand the motivation behind health behaviours. This thesis sought to understand the utility of the CSM by examining the relationship between facets of illness representations and health behaviours in individuals with Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Literature Review: CVD confers significant costs, which is mitigated by a physically active lifestyle. However, many CVD patients do not undertake sufficient exercise. This prompted studies to examine if illness representations underpin the motivation behind such health behaviours. Despite a growing body of research in this area, no review has systematically interrogated and synthesised the corpus of research evidence. The current review aims to systematically review the relationship between illness representations and indices of physical activity in CVD. Ten studies were elicited with overall findings being equivocal; the majority of the studies demonstrated a relationship between illness representations and indices of physical activities with domains of timeline, control and consequences of the CSM most often revealed associations. Future research exploring putative causal relationships between illness representations and indices of physical activity is warranted. Empirical Study: CKD is a debilitating condition, which is further exacerbated by depression. While being physically active have scope to mitigate adverse impacts, many do not meet the recommended physical activity guideline. The current study examined the relationship between illness representations and levels of physical activity in CKD. Seventy non-dialysing patients were recruited from an outpatient renal clinic. Results indicated that timeline cyclical of the CSM predicted levels of physical activity and was not moderated or mediated by depression while timeline cyclical, consequences, emotional representations, personal control and illness coherence were significantly associated with depression. Future research regarding the development of psychological interventions based on an illness representations framework is proposed.



Robertson, Noelle; Melluish, Stephen

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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