Serotonin receptor (5HTR2A) gene polymorphism has been reported to be associated with clinical phenotypes in schizophrenia. The current study attempted to investigate a relationship between 5HTR2A 102T/C polymorphism and personality traits as well as clinical symptoms in patients with ICD-10 diagnoses of schizophrenia and affective disorders. 5HTR2A genotyping, clinical and psychological assessment were administered to 375 patients, 104 first-degree healthy relatives of the patients and 157 controls. In the patients an association was observed between the 2/2 5HTR2A genotype and scores on the Hypochondriasis scale (MMPI) (ANOVA, F = 4.56; P = 0.011) and trait anxiety (F = 4.21; P = 0.002). A significant difference between 1/1 and 2/2 genotypes has been also found for Neuroticism scores (EPI) (t = 2.18; P = 0.0031). No significant differences by 5HTR2A genotype were observed in either the control or first-degree relatives group for all scales studied. Positive, negative and psychopathological symptoms emerged higher in the 2/2 genotype patients compared to other genotype carriers. Therefore, the 2/2 genotype may contribute to produce the phenotype, with specific clinical and pathological features in common, regardless of nosologic heterogeneity of psychoses.
This exploratory study evaluated the benefits of adding auricular acupuncture to a 21-day outpatient structured psychoeducational treatment program for women with concurrent substance use problems, anxiety, and depression. Women receiving acupuncture (n = 185) reported having reduced physiological cravings for substances, felt significantly less depressed, less anxious, and were better able to reflect on and resolve difficulties than women in the control group (n = 101). It was found that auricular acupuncture, as an adjunct therapy to a comprehensive psychoeducational treatment program for women with addictions, shows promise in being an effective, more viable treatment alternative to anxiolytics.
One hundred eighty patients with acute low-back pain (LBP) were compared to 608 age- and sex-matched controls with regard to somatic and personality characteristics. The low-back-pain group had a fourfold increase (median) in sick-leave episodes for reasons other than spinal morbidity during the preceding 2 years. In the same period, the median number of episodes of sick leave for LBP was 1 in the patients and 0 in the controls. The mean number of days off for other reasons was 34 (median = 20.5) in the patients compared to 9 (median = 0) in the controls, and days off for LBP were 20 (median = 5) and 5 (median = 0), respectively. Analysis of other factors than those directly related to LBP disclosed significant differences in marital status and smoking habits between patients and controls. Furthermore, LBP patients estimated their work to be physically heavier. We conclude that medical intervention should focus not only on the spine, but also on a wide range of other aspects of the patient's situation. Even in the acute phase of LBP, the previous sick-leave records should be analyzed to provide adequate measures to prevent future sick leaves. Presently, the sociomedical costs for a subset of the population who repeatedly seek help for LBP are significantly higher than those for the non-LBP population.
Sixty-six passengers surviving a collision of two trains were investigated concerning relevant background data, degree of personal injury, experience of a threat to life, symptoms and problems immediately after the accident, and thoughts about difficulty in coping. The most obvious impact on the survivors was the experience of being close to death. One result of this was that they developed a new coping strategy to minimize emotional pain. Some survivors also suffered problems of "re-living" the accident. This is important for the coping process. The process includes psychological integration of the accident as an important life event. The findings indicate that "re-living" of the accident through nightmares and intrusive thoughts is responsible for problems in carrying out ordinary tasks. The observations are in accordance with those made after other types of accidents and disasters.
To examine the prevalence of acute stress disorder (ASD) after a myocardial infarction (MI) and the factors associated with its development.
Of 1344 MI patients admitted to three Canadian hospitals, 474 patients did not meet the inclusion criteria and 393 declined participation in the study; 477 patients consented to participate in the study. A structured interview and questionnaires were administered to patients 48 hours to 14 days post MI (mean +/- standard deviation = 4 +/- 2.73 days).
Four percent were classified as having ASD using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, ASD module. The presence of symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory; odds ratio (OR) = 29.92) and the presence of perceived distress during the MI (measured using the question "How difficult/upsetting was the experience of your MI?"; OR = 3.42, R(2) = .35) were associated with the presence of symptoms of ASD on the Modified PTSD Symptom Scale. The intensity of the symptoms of depression was associated with the intensity of ASD symptoms (R = .65). The models for the detection and estimation of ASD symptoms were validated by applying the regression equations to 72 participants not included in the initial regressions. The results obtained in the validation sample did not differ from those obtained in the initial sample.
The symptoms of depression and the subjective distress during the MI could be used to improve the detection of ASD.
There are a limited number of scales available in the Spanish language that can be used to detect burden among individuals who care for a dependent family member. The purpose of this work was to adapt and validate the Caregiver Risk Screen (CRS) scale developed by Guberman et al. (2001) (Guberman, N., Keefe, J., Fancey, P., Nahmiash, D. and Barylak, L. (2001). Development of Screening and Assessment Tools for Family Caregivers: Final Report. Montreal, Canada: Health Transition Fund).
The sample was made up of 302 informal caregivers of dependent family members (average age 57.3 years, and 78.9% were women). Scale structure was subjected to a confirmatory factor analysis. Concurrent and convergent validity were assessed by correlation with validated questionnaires for measuring burden (Zarit Burden Inventory (ZBI)) and psychological health (SCL-90-R).
The results show a high level of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.86), suitable fit of the one-dimensional model tested via confirmatory factor analysis (GFI = 0.91; CFI = 0.91; RMSEA = 0.097), and appropriate convergent validity with similar constructs (r = 0.77 with ZBI; and r-values between 0.45 and 0.63 with SCL-90-R dimensions).
The findings are promising in terms of their adaptation of the CRS to Spanish, and the results enable us to draw the conclusion that the CRS is a suitable tool for assessing and detecting strain in family caregivers. Nevertheless, new research is required that explores all the psychometric features on the scale.
An adaptation of a Norwegian modified short version of Christiansen & Goldman's Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire for Adolescents (AEQ-A) was examined in this survey. Subjects were 924 Norwegian seventh graders, with an average age of 13.3 years. From the original 90 items, 27 items representing all seven original scales were used in this study. Factor analysis did not create any preferred new factor solution compared to Christiansen & Goldman's original factors. Internal consistency of the seven AEQ-A scales ranged from 0.37 to 0.72 on Cronbach's alpha. All seven AEQ-A scales correlated significantly with self-reported alcohol use as was expected, and this study also replicated the relative importance of the social enhancement scale. This was the first study using AEQ-A in a non-English-speaking culture. The generalizability of alcohol outcome expectancies was strongly supported. The present study indicates that the Norwegian version of AEQ-A possesses a level of concurrent validity and internal reliability that is acceptable compared to the original scales, and can serve as a useful instrument in behavioral research on alcohol use among Norwegian adolescents in the years to come.
BACKGROUND: Over the last decade adolescent males have been shown to use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) in order to improve their sports performance and appearance, as well as in combination with alcohol and psychotropic drugs. However, the risk profile of AAS use is still not well understood. This study analysed the importance of social, personality and health factors for the use of AAS. METHODS: More than 2,700 senior high school students in Uppsala, Sweden, filled out an anonymous closed-response questionnaire. RESULTS: The findings from multiple logistic regression analyses of adolescent males (n = 1,353) showed that immigrant status, average/low self-esteem, average/low perceived school achievement and use of prescription tranquillisers/sedatives had independent significant associations with the use of AAS after controlling for age and previously known factors such as strength training, truancy and heavy alcohol consumption. CONCLUSION: The characteristics of AAS users extend beyond activities such as strength training and multiple drug use to include social, personality and health aspects.
Three studies that examined the links between affective personality, as constructed from responses to the Positive Affect (PA) and Negative Affect (NA) Scale (PANAS), and individuals' self-report of self-esteem, intrinsic motivation and Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) depression in high school students and persons in working occupations are described. Self-report estimations of several other neuropsychiatric and psychosocial variables including, the Uppsala Sleep Inventory (USI), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) test, Dispositional optimism, Locus of control, the Subjective Stress Experience test (SSE) and the Stress-Energy (SE) test, were also derived. Marked effects due to affective personality type upon somatic and psychological stress, anxiety and depression, self-esteem, internal and external locus of control, optimism, stress and energy, intrinsic motivation, external regulation, identified regulation, major sleep problems, problems falling asleep, and psychophysiological problems were observed; levels of self-esteem, self-motivation and BDI-depression all produced substantial effects on health and well-being. Regression analyses indicated PA was predicted by dispositional optimism (thrice), energy (thrice), and intrinsic motivation, and counter predicted by depression (twice) and stress (twice); and NA by anxiety (twice), stress (twice), psychological stress, identified regulation, BDI depression and psychophysiological problems, and counter predicted by internal locus of control and self-esteem. BDI-depression was predicted by negative affect, major sleep problems and psychophysiological problems (Study III), self-esteem by dispositional optimism and energy, and counter predicted by anxiety, depression and stress (Study I), and intrinsic motivation by dispositional optimism, energy, PA and self-esteem (Study II). These convergent findings are interpreted from a perspective of the cognitive-emotional expressions underlying behavioural or presymptomatic profiles presenting predispositions for health or ill health.