The spectrum of adjustment disorders: too broad to be clinically helpful
ABSTRACT The clinical value of the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders diagnosis of adjustment disorder is controversial. The aim of this article is to review the literature on adjustment disorder and to present suggestions for the improvement of this diagnostic category in future classification systems. The literature utilized for this review was retrieved by MEDLINE (1967 until May 2009) and was supplemented by a manual search of the literature. The analysis of the literature indicates that the diagnosis of adjustment disorder is not characterized by consistent clinical description and prognosis, adequate differentiation from other disorders, or specific psychometric and neurobiologic features. The spectrum of affective disturbances entailed by the diagnosis of adjustment disorder appears to be too broad. A major problem seems to lie in the fact that it is an exclusion diagnosis that overlaps with subthreshold manifestations of mood and anxiety disorders. More precise characterizations of stress-related disturbances are available.
- SourceAvailable from: Yong-Ku Kim
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- "While the concept of ADJ has evolved from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM)-I to DSM-IV-text revision (TR), criticism for the validity of the diagnosis of ADJ has always existed.4-6 ADJ, as a kind of subthreshold disorder, is poorly defined and overlaps with other diagnostic categories. Both the DSM-IV1 and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-107 attempt to overcome this problem by specifying that if the criteria for another disorder are met, then the diagnosis of ADJ should not be made. "
ABSTRACT: Adjustment disorder (ADJ) is a common diagnosis. However, it is difficult to distinguish ADJ from other major Axis I disorders, such as major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to determine the distinguishing neurophysiological characteristics between ADJ and MDD using quantitative analysis of an electroencephalogram (QEEG). The study included 30 patients with ADJ and 51 patients with MDD. Resting (eye closed) vigilance controlled EEG recordings were assessed at 19 electrode sites according to the international 10/20 system. QEEG absolute power and coherence were calculated for the delta, theta, alpha and beta bandwidths. Absolute powers of alpha and high beta bands, particularly at the frontocentral area, differed between MDD and ADJ group (p<0.05). Interhemispheric coherence values for the delta and beta bands were lower in the ADJ group than in the MDD group (p<0.05). Intrahemispheric coherence values for the alpha band were also lower in the ADJ group (p<0.05). The differences in QEEG power and coherence in our investigation suggest that underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms may be different between ADJ and MDD.Psychiatry investigation 03/2013; 10(1):62-68. DOI:10.4306/pi.2013.10.1.62 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of comorbid mental disorders as well as the extent of psychosocial distress in patients with intracranial tumours and their partners during the early treatment phase. Moreover, we aimed to identify which events are experienced as most distressing in the context of the early diagnosis of brain cancer by patients and spouses. Structured clinical interviews for DSM-IV (SCID-IV) were conducted with 26 patients and their partners after the first neurosurgical treatment within the first 3 months after the detection of a brain tumour. Screening measures (NCCN distress thermometer, HADS, IES-R) were used to assess the extent of psychosocial distress as well as anxiety, depression and traumatic stress responses. Distressing experiences were assessed via a structured questionnaire and interview. Thirty-eight per cent of the patients and 47% of the partners suffered from a psychiatric disorder. Most frequent diagnoses were adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder. The majority of the participants suffered from elevated psychosocial distress. Partners were equally or even more affected than the patients. For the patients, the experience most frequently described as distressing was the first detection of the tumour. The majority of the partners reported to be distressed by the fear of surgery outcomes. This study revealed that during this very first treatment phase, both brain tumour patients and their spouses show a high prevalence of comorbid mental disorders and psychosocial distress. The findings suggest that research and clinical efforts are needed to address the psychosocial concerns of these populations.Supportive Care in Cancer 10/2010; 19(11):1797-805. DOI:10.1007/s00520-010-1021-8 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is increasing awareness of the need of subtyping major depressive disorder, particularly in the setting of medical disease. The aim of this investigation was to use both DSM-IV comorbidity and the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) for characterizing depression in the medically ill. 1700 patients were recruited from 8 medical centers in the Italian Health System and 1560 agreed to participate. They all underwent a cross-sectional assessment with DSM-IV and DCPR structured interviews. 198 patients (12.7%) received a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. Data were submitted to cluster analysis. Two clusters were identified: depressed somatizers and irritable/anxious depression. The somatizer cluster included 58.6% of the cases and was characterized by DCPR somatization syndromes (persistent somatization, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder, conversion symptoms, and anniversary reactions) and DCPR alexithymia. The anxious/irritable cluster had 41.4% of the total sample and included DCPR irritable mood and type A behavior and DSM-IV anxiety disorders. The study has limitations due to its cross-sectional nature. Further, these findings require additional validation in another sample. The findings indicate the need of expanding clinical assessment in the medically ill to include the various manifestations of somatization, irritable mood, type A behavior and alexithymia, as encompassed by the DCPR. Subtyping major depressive disorder may yield improved targets for psychosomatic research and treatment trials.Journal of Affective Disorders 03/2011; 132(3):383-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2011.03.004 · 3.71 Impact Factor