I think I can be of help here.
I have had chronic since I was born in 1985. I am almost thirty now. As a child, I was in and out of hospitals all the time, for gradual liver failure, and my parents were constantly given contradictory information on how to deal with it. When I was 12, my liver crashed completely, and I was in a near-death coma for a month during which I was transplanted. When I awoke, traumatized and shaken, I was in the hospital for another month, during which not one person came to talk to me about how I had experienced it.
A few years later I needed a kidney transplant, which was done and my trauma addressed very poorly yet again. Added to that my built-up hatred of medicine for being treated as a doctor's toy in childhood, that did not go well either. I had a few moderately good years in late high school and early college, but then I started suffering from another series of bodily pain, and more procedures. I had finally had enough, and I wanted this time to die. A few years ago, I rejected all medication in a final attempt to send a message that the psychological damage of being sick cannot be ignored.
Again I nearly did die, but on the last day my parents came to me and asked if I wanted to try and turn things around. I said I could try, and so I began a long, hard process of dialysis and listing for another kidney transplant. My family has now paid attention to the trauma done, and I am working closely with my Dad to recover my sanity. The doctors, however, have never learned, and they still believe that an ill person's psychological health is no issue.
I do in fact have a pet who is helping me every day, just by being my best friend. A black American Shorthair male cat named Blackberry. I would be willing to participate in your study. I will also send an email of this message to the address you listed.