Paper Title
Gender Matters: Chronically Ill Men Experience More Perceived Burdensomeness than Chronically Ill Women

Perceived burdensomeness can be a predictor of suicidal behavior in people with chronic invisible illnesses. This study examines the influence of gender on feelings of perceived burdensomeness among people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Participants (n=726) were recruited via social media and completed an electronic survey that included the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire-15 (INQ-15), World Health Organization Quality of Life BREF (WHOQOL), and a subscale of Beck’s Depression Inventory-II (Chronic Illness Inventory - CII). In this sample, 38% of participants scored in the desire for suicide category on the INQ-15 Perceived Burdensomeness scale (≥17). In this study, gender (β=-3.18; p=0.01) impacts feelings of perceived burdensomeness even after controlling for total diagnoses (β=0.60; p=0.001), CII (β=0.50; p=0.001), age (β=-0.09; p=0.001), and the WHOQOL domains for Psychological Health (β=-0.23; p=0.001), and Social Relationship (β=-0.04; p=0.002). Men and those with more diagnoses experienced higher levels of perceived burdensomeness than other participants. Caring for POTS patients requires consideration of the impact of both perceived burdensomeness and gender. Keywords - Male, perceived Burdensomeness, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Quality of Life, Suicidal Behavior