Vassiliki Paika

University of Ioannina, Yannina, Epirus, Greece

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Publications (8)20 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background The PHQ-15 is a brief measure assessing the severity of somatic symptoms and is widely used in different health care settings. We aimed to assess the psychometric properties of its Greek version in patients with chronic physical illnesses seeking urgent or unscheduled care in the Accident and Emergency Department (AED). Methods The PHQ-15 was translated into Greek using back-translation, and it was administered to 303 patients with diabetes, COPD and rheumatic diseases visiting our AED during a one-year period. Patients were interviewed with the MINI. Depressive (PHQ-9) and somatization symptoms (SCL-12), illness perceptions (B-IPQ) and health-related quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF) were also assessed to test criterion and concurrent validity. Results The Greek version of the PHQ-15 showed acceptable internal consistency. Convergent validity was established by the strong associations observed between PHQ-15 scores and functional status, depressive symptom severity and AED visits during the previous year. PHQ-15 scores were also associated with the patients' concerns about personal and treatment illness’s control and their beliefs regarding the number of bodily symptoms attributed to their illness (illness identity). The highly acceptable convergent and discriminant validity of the five individual bodily symptoms assessed by both the PHQ-15 and SCL-12 are further construct validity indicators. Conclusions Present findings support the applicability of the Greek version of PHQ-15 in assessing common somatic symptoms either medically explained or unexplained in patients seeking care in the AED, further confirming that it can be considered suitable for use in a broad range of populations in clinical research.
    Comprehensive Psychiatry 08/2014; · 2.38 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 06/2013; 74(6):548.
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Treatment decisional preferences impact breast cancer patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and may relate to psychological variables, although many aspects of this relationship remain unknown. This prospective study aimed to assess psychological correlates of treatment decisional preferences and predictors of HRQoL in women with early non-metastatic breast cancer. METHODS: Of the 124 women initially assessed for anxiety (Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) and depressive (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D)) symptoms, HRQoL (WHOQOL-BREF), and defense mechanisms (Life Style Index), 82 (66.1%) completed the 1-year follow-up. Mean age was 54.6 years (SD = 9.76), and mean disease duration was 19.4 months (SD = 25.55); 19.5% had stage I, 63.4% stage II and 17.1% stage III disease. The predictive power and moderator effects of psychological variables were tested using multiple and hierarchical regression models. RESULTS: Depressive symptoms and physical HRQoL improved significantly, state anxiety and mental and environment HRQoL remained stable, and social relations HRQoL deteriorated over the 1-year period. Older age (p = 0.021) and higher scores in repression defense (p = 0.044) were independently associated with passive decisional preferences. Earlier stage of cancer (p = 0.043), lower state anxiety (p = 0.039), lower repression scores (p = 0.021) and improvement in depressive symptoms (p < 0.001) predicted physical HRQoL improvement. Moderation analysis showed that active decisional preferences predicted physical HRQoL improvement, but only in those women with lower repression levels. CONCLUSIONS: Defense mechanisms are associated with treatment decisional preferences and interact with factors predicting HRQoL in women with breast cancer. Clinicians should address the patients' anxiety and depressive symptoms and refer patients with high repression tendencies for psychological evaluation and management. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Psycho-Oncology 05/2013; · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed at assessing Greek breast cancer patients' preferences for participation in treatment decision making and their information needs. In a cross-sectional study, 329 breast cancer patients were administered at the Control Preferences Scale, a card-sort measurement designed to elicit preferences for participation in decision making. Information needs were assessed with Cassileth's Information Styles Questionnaire. The majority of patients (71.1%) preferred to play a passive role in treatment decision making, with most of them wanting to delegate responsibility of the decision completely to their doctor (45.3%). A collaborative role was preferred by 24%, whereas only 4.6% chose an active role. Most women expressed a general desire for as much information as possible about their illness (62.6%), but a substantial proportion (37.4%) did not want detailed information; instead, they wished to avoid awareness of bad news. Women who desired less informational details and preferred a passive role requested less frequently a mammography (p<0.001) and/or Pap test (p<0.0005) prediagnostically. This study's findings showed that the proportion of patients who wanted to play a passive role in decision making is the highest reported compared to similar studies from other countries, indicating the impact of the dominating paternalistic model of the doctor-patient relationship in the Greek medical encounter. The association of desired information details and decision-making preferences with screening for cancer procedures prediagnostically highlights the significance of providing the patients with the appropriate information and the choices available for their treatment.
    Psycho-Oncology 08/2011; 20(8):871-9. · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to assess the course of early non-metastatic colorectal cancer patients' psychological distress and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and to identify relevant clinical and psychological predictors during a one-year period. Of the 144 early non-metastatic colorectal cancer patients initially assessed for psychological distress symptoms (SCL-90-R), HRQOL (WHOQOL-BREF), sense of coherence (SOC), defense mechanisms (LSI) and hostility (HDHQ), 84 (58.3%) completed the one-year follow-up. Mean (SD) age was 65.1 (9.8) years and 67.4% were male. Mean (SD) disease duration was 1.7 (2.2) years, with 49.3% being diagnosed within the last six months. In 75.0% the site was at colon and in 25.0% at rectum; 2.1% had stage I, 59.0% stage II and 38.9% stage III disease. Paranoid ideation, psychoticism, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety and depressive symptoms increased significantly over the one-year period of the study and most of the HRQOL components were significantly decreased over the same period. Men were at greater risk for further developing depressive symptomatology. Low SOC was independent predictor of depression, while hostility independently predicted anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity and psychoticism symptoms. General psychological distress and low SOC were independent predictors of HRQOL, while repression was also an independent predictor of Physical HRQOL. In early non-metastatic colorectal cancer patients, psychological distress symptoms are increased and HRQOL is decreased over one-year period. Symptoms of psychological distress are strong predictors of HRQOL, while personality variables can also predict psychological distress symptoms' increase and HRQOL decrease over time, and this could be relevant to psychological interventions.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 05/2011; 70(5):411-21. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test the relative importance of anxiety, depression and somatization as correlates of physical health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in several chronic physical disorders. In a cross-sectional study of patients with colorectal cancer (N = 162), glaucoma (N = 100), rheumatoid arthritis (N = 168), systemic sclerosis (N = 56) and systemic lupus erythematosus (N = 56), we assessed specific disease severity and used the Symptom Distress Checklist (SCL-90) for psychologic dimensions. Outcome was assessed with the WHO Quality of Life Instrument, Short Form using hierarchical regression to determine independent correlates of HRQOL. After adjustment for demographic features, stage of cancer and pain (final models), the SCL-90 somatization score was the only psychologic distress covariate significantly correlated to physical HRQOL in all diseases (Betas between -0.33 and -0.49) except in systemic sclerosis and scleroderma, where depression was also a correlate. In glaucoma patients, the SCL-90 somatization score was the only significant covariate for physical HRQOL in the final model. Since reported number of bodily symptoms is both associated with physical HRQOL and treatable in its own right, our findings suggest a possible new avenue to improve the HRQOL in patients with chronic physical disease. Whether this offers greater benefit than treatments for anxiety and depression needs further research.
    Quality of Life Research 09/2009; 18(8):1029-42. · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to test whether psychological distress and personality variables are independently associated with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in colorectal cancer patients, after adjusting for age, gender, education and disease severity. In a cross-sectional study of 162 colorectal cancer patients (response rate 65.6%), the following self-report instruments were administered: the Symptom Distress Checklist-90-R, the Sense of Coherence scale, the Life Style Index and the Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire. The outcome measures were the four components of the WHO Quality of Life Instrument, Short Form. We used hierarchical regressions to determine whether psychological distress mediates the relationship of personality and disease parameters with HRQOL. The overall proportion of the variance in the four components of HRQOL explained by our regression models ranged from 28.1 to 44.4%. Psychological distress was an independent correlate of HRQOL, associated with physical (p<0005), mental (p<0.05) and social relationships HRQOL (p<0.02). Personality variables were associated with HRQOL independent of psychological distress and disease severity. Sense of coherence and denial defense were positively associated with all aspects of HRQOL independent of psychological distress and disease parameters (p-values ranging from p<0.05 to p<0.0005). Hostility (p<0.01) and repression defense (p=0.024) were also independently but negatively associated with physical HRQOL. In colorectal cancer patients, psychological distress is associated with HRQOL independent of disease parameters but personality variables are also associated with HRQOL independent of disease severity and psychological distress, and this could be relevant to psychological interventions.
    Psycho-Oncology 04/2009; 19(3):273-82. · 3.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the psychoanalytic reading of Homer's Iliad whose principal theme is "Achilles' rage" (the semi-mortal hero invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel, hence "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a person's principal weakness), we aimed to assess whether "narcissistic rage" has an impact on several psychosocial variables in patients with severe physical illness across time. In 878 patients with cancer, rheumatological diseases, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and glaucoma, we assessed psychological distress (SCL-90 and GHQ-28), quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF), interpersonal difficulties (IIP-40), hostility (HDHQ), and defense styles (DSQ). Narcissistic rage comprised DSQ "omnipotence" and HDHQ "extraverted hostility". Hierarchical multiple regressions analyses were performed. We showed that, in patients with disease duration less than one year, narcissistic rage had a minor impact on psychosocial variables studied, indicating that the rage was rather part of a "normal" mourning process. On the contrary, in patients with longer disease duration, increased rates of narcissistic rage had a great impact on all outcome variables, and the opposite was true for patients with low rates of narcissistic rage, indicating that narcissistic rage constitutes actually an "Achilles' Heel" for patients with long-term physical illness. These findings may have important clinical implications.
    Patient Preference and Adherence 01/2009; 3:239-50. · 1.33 Impact Factor