Dysthymia in a cross-cultural perspective.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, Neurosciences, Drug and Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Current opinion in psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.57). 11/2010; 24(1):67-71. DOI: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32834136a5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dysthymia is a relatively less-studied condition within the spectrum of depressive disorders. New and important information about its status has emerged in recent scientific literature. This review highlights some of the findings of that literature.
Even though studies addressing the cross-cultural validity of dysthymia are being awaited, results of studies using comparable ascertainment procedures suggest that the lifetime and 12-month estimates of the condition may be higher in high-income than in low and middle-income countries. However, the disorder is associated with elevated risks of suicidal outcomes and comparable levels of disability whereever it occurs. Dysthymia commonly carries a worse prognosis than major depressive disorder and comparable or worse clinical outcome than other forms of chronic depression. Whereas there is some evidence that psychotherapy may be less effective than pharmacotherapy in the treatment of dysthymia, the best treatment approach is one that combines both forms of treatment.
Dysthymia is a condition of considerable public health importance. Our current understanding suggests that it should receive more clinical and research attention. Specifically, the development of better treatment approaches, especially those that can be implemented in diverse populations, deserves research attention.

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    ABSTRACT: Dysthymic disorder and other chronic depressive disorders have recently been merged in DSM-5 into a 'persistent depressive disorder' category. As its introduction in DSM-III, the validity of dysthymic disorder has long been challenged, posing concerns regarding the validity of its successor - persistent depressive disorder. This review aims to present recent findings regarding the validity and utility of dysthymic disorder. Several recent studies raise questions regarding the validity of dysthymic disorder, namely, results indicating a significant overlap between dysthymic disorder and other mood and/or anxiety disorders, failure of such a diagnosis to predict illness outcome and the lack of any validation strategy identifying that it is a depressive entity or subtype. Research findings indicate that dysthymic disorder is a heterogeneous diagnosis encompassing many different depressive (and anxiety or personality weighted) conditions, and without clear evidence of its validity as a diagnostic entity. As dysthymic disorder is a key component of DSM-defined persistent depressive disorder - the latter is at similar risk of providing a heterogeneous domain diagnosis, and thus limiting identification of specific causative factors and preferential treatment modality.
    Current opinion in psychiatry 11/2013; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysthymia is defined as a chronic mood disorder that persists for at least two years in adults, and one year in adolescents and children. According to DSM IV-TR, Dysthymia is classified into two subtypes: early-onset, when it begins before 21 years-old, and late onset Dysthymia, when it starts after this age. Before age 21, symptoms of conduct disorder, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity with a few vegetative symptoms are usually present. It is important to distinguish it from other types of depression, as earlier as possible. This would allow providing these patients with the appropriate treatment to attenuate the impact of symptoms, such as poor awareness of self-mood, negative thinking, low self-esteem, and low energy for social and family activities, which progressively deteriorate their life quality. The etiology of Dysthymia is complex and multifactorial, given the various biological, psychological and social factors involved. Several hypotheses attempt to explain the etiology of Dysthymia, highlighting the genetic hypothesis, which also includes environmental factors, and an aminergic hypothesis suggesting a deficiency in serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the central nervous system. From our point of view, dysthymia cannot be conceived as a simple mild depressive disorder. It is a distinct entity, characterized by a chronic depressive disorder which could persist throughout life, with important repercussions on the life quality of both patients and families.
    Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría. 04/2013; 42(2):212-218.
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    ABSTRACT: Background In 2006, Oregon Health & Science University began implementing changes to better integrate mental health and social science into the curriculum by addressing the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) 2004 recommendation for the inclusion of six behavioural and social science (BSS) domains: health policy and economics, patient behaviour, physician-patient interaction, mind-body interactions, physician role and behaviour, and social and cultural issues.Methods We conducted three focus groups with a purposive sample of 23 fourth-year medical students who were exposed to 4 years of the new curriculum. Students were asked to reflect upon the adequacy of their BSS training specifically as it related to the six IOM domains. The 90-minute focus groups were recorded, transcribed and analysed.Results Students felt the MS1 and MS2 years of the curriculum presented a strong didactic orientation to behavioural and social science precepts. However, they reported that these principles were not well integrated into clinical care during the second two years. Students identified three opportunities to further the inclusion of BSS in their clinical training: presentation of BSS concepts prior to relevant clinical exposure, consistent BSS skills mentoring in the clinical setting, and improving cultural congruence between aspects of BSS and biomedicine.Conclusions Students exposed to the revised BSS curriculum tend to value its principles; however, modelling and practical training in the application of these principles during the second two years of medical school are needed to reinforce this learning and demonstrate methods of integrating BSS principles into practice.
    Mental health in family medicine. 12/2011; 8(4):215-26.

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