Development and validation of the Psychological Adaptation Scale (PAS): Use in six studies of adaptation to a health condition or risk

Barbara B. Biesecker, Lori H. Erby, Samuel Woolford, Jessica Young Adcock, Julie S. Cohen, Amanda Lamb, Katie V. Lewis, Megan Truitt, Amy Turriff, Bryce B. Reeve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We introduce The Psychological Adaptation Scale (PAS) for assessing adaptation to a chronic condition or risk and present validity data from six studies of genetic conditions. Methods: Informed by theory, we identified four domains of adaptation: effective coping, self-esteem, social integration, and spiritual/existential meaning. Items were selected from the PROMIS "positive illness impact" item bank and adapted from the Rosenberg self-esteem scale to create a 20-item scale. Each domain included five items, with four sub-scale scores. Data from studies of six populations: adults affected with or at risk for genetic conditions (N= 3) and caregivers of children with genetic conditions (N= 3) were analyzed using confirmatory factor analyses (CFA). Results: CFA suggested that all but five posited items converge on the domains as designed. Invariance of the PAS amongst the studies further suggested it is a valid and reliable tool to facilitate comparisons of adaptation across conditions. Conclusion: Use of the PAS will standardize assessments of adaptation and foster understanding of the relationships among related health outcomes, such as quality of life and psychological well-being. Practice implications: Clinical interventions can be designed based on PAS data to enhance dimensions of psychological adaptation to a chronic health condition or risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Adaptation
  • Health threat of chronic condition or risk
  • Outcomes of coping
  • The Psychological Adaptation Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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