[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the relationship between recent life events and onset of hyperprolactinemia, despite the well-known effect of acute psychological stress on prolactin levels in healthy subjects. Recent life events in patients with hyperprolactinemia compared with healthy controls were investigated.
Fifty-two consecutive patients with hyperprolactinemia (45 females/7 males; mean age 34.9+/-10.1 years, range 18-60 years) and 52 healthy subjects matched for socio-demographic variables were studied. Nineteen patients (18 females/1 male) had no pituitary tumor and were diagnosed as suffering from idiopathic hyperprolactinemia. Patients with additional pathology or with high prolactin due to medications were excluded. All patients were interviewed by Paykel Interview for Recent Life Events while on remission after surgery or pharmacological treatment. The time period considered was the year preceding the first signs of hyperprolactinemia, and the year before interview for controls.
Patients with hyperprolactinemia reported significantly more life events than control subjects (P<0.001). The same significant difference compared with controls applied to patients with (n=16) and without (n=36) depression. All categories of events (except events that were likely to be under the subject's control) were significantly more frequent. There were no significant differences between patients with prolactinoma (n=33) and those with idiopathic hyperprolactinemia (n=19).
Within the complexity of phenomena implicated in the pathogenesis of hyperprolactinemia, our findings emphasize a potential role of emotional stress in either prolactin-secreting pituitary tumors or idiopathic hyperprolactinemia. Appraisal of life stress may have implications in clinical assessment (e.g. functional hyperprolactinemia) and decisions (e.g. termination of long-term pharmacological treatment).
European Journal of Endocrinology 08/2004; 151(1):61-5. · 3.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to assess the frequency and characteristics of psychological distress, even after adequate treatment, in the heterogeneous population of an endocrine outpatient clinic.
146 endocrine patients (31 males/115 females; age 39.4 +/- 12.5 years), who were cured or in remission, were studied in a university endocrine outpatient clinic. Semistructured clinical interviews to assess psychiatric (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV) and psychological (Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research, DCPR) diagnoses were employed and were supplemented by self-rated instruments (the Psychosocial Index and the Medical Outcome Study short form General Health Survey) which could provide the patients' perception of their own quality of life.
There were 118 patients (81%) who presented with at least 1 psychiatric (DSM-IV) or psychological (DCPR) diagnosis. The most frequent diagnostic findings were generalized anxiety disorder (29%), major depression (26%), irritable mood (46%), demoralization (34%) and persistent somatization (21%). By self-rated instruments, patients with at least 1 DSM-IV or DCPR diagnosis reported significantly more stressful life circumstances, psychological distress and an impaired quality of life compared to those who had none.
A high prevalence of psychological distress may be encountered in the long-term follow-up of endocrine patients. A biopsychosocial consideration of the person and his/her quality of life appears to be mandatory for improving therapeutic effectiveness in endocrine disorders.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 01/2004; 73(2):78-83. · 7.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychometric theory is the basis for the development of assessment instruments in psychiatric research. However, the psychometric model appears to be largely inadequate in the clinical setting because of its lack of sensitivity to change and its quest for homogeneous components. Clinimetrics offers a viable alternative to psychometrics, both from a conceptual and a methodological viewpoint. Current diagnostic entities (DSM) are based on clinimetric principles, but their use is still influenced by psychometric models. Suggestions for switching gears in assessment research are offered.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 01/2004; 73(3):145-8. · 7.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article describes the main characteristics and technical features of a novel psychotherapeutic strategy, well-being therapy. This paper outlines the background of its development, the structure of well-being therapy, its key concepts and technical aspects. Well-being therapy is based on Ryff's multidimensional model of psychological well-being, encompassing six dimensions: autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, purpose in life, positive relations and self-acceptance. The goal of this therapy is improving the patients' levels of psychological well-being according to these dimensions, using cognitive-behavioral techniques. It may be applied as a relapse-preventive strategy in the residual phase of affective (mood and anxiety) disorders, as an additional ingredient of cognitive-behavioral packages, in patients with affective disorders who failed to respond to standard pharmacological or psychotherapeutic treatments and in body image disturbances. The clinical studies supporting its efficacy are illustrated.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 04/2003; 34(1):45-63. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chronic and recurrent nature of major depressive disorder is receiving increasing attention. Approximately eight of ten people experiencing a major depressive episode will have at least one more episode during their lifetime, i.e. recurrent major depressive disorder. In the 1990s, prolonged or lifelong pharmacotherapy emerged as the main therapeutic tool for preventing relapses of depression. This therapeutic approach is based on the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs compared with placebo in decreasing relapse risk and on the improved tolerability profile of the newer antidepressants compared with their older counterparts. However, outcome after discontinuation of antidepressant therapy does not seem to be affected by the duration of administration. Loss of clinical effects, despite adequate compliance, has also emerged as a vexing clinical problem. The use of intermittent pharmacotherapy with follow-up visits is an alternative therapeutic option. This leaves patients with periods free of drugs and adverse effects and takes into account that a high proportion of patients would discontinue the antidepressant anyway. However, the problems of resistance (that a drug treatment may be associated with a diminished chance of response in subsequent treatments in those patients whose symptoms successfully responded to it but who discontinued it) and of discontinuation syndromes are substantial disadvantages of this therapeutic approach. In recent years, several controlled trials have suggested that sequential use of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of the acute depressive episode and psychotherapy in its residual phase may improve long-term outcome. Patients, however, need to be motivated for psychotherapy, and skilled therapists have to be available. Despite an impressive amount of research into the treatment of depression, there is still a paucity of studies addressing the specific problems that prevention of recurrent depression entails. It is important to discuss with the patient the various therapeutic options and to adapt strategies to the specific needs of patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this investigation were to explore the feasibility of a cognitive behavior approach to loss of clinical effect during long-term antidepressant therapy and to compare it with dose increase.
Ten patients with recurrent depression who relapsed while taking antidepressant drugs were randomly assigned to dose increase and clinical management or to cognitive behavior therapy and maintenance of the antidepressant drug at the same dose.
Four of five patients responded to a larger dose, but all had relapsed again on that dose by the 1-year follow-up. Four of five patients responded to cognitive behavior therapy, and only one relapsed during follow-up.
The data suggest that application of a cognitive behavior therapy approach is feasible when there is a loss of clinical effects during long-term antidepressant treatment and may carry long-term benefits. The results need to be confirmed with large-scale controlled studies.
American Journal of Psychiatry 01/2003; 159(12):2094-5. · 14.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The patient is a 37-year-old woman with a major depressive episode of recent onset. She had 2 previous episodes 1 and 3 years earlier, which had been treated by her primary care physician with fluoxetine for 6 months each time. There is no evidence of bipolar illness. She wants to know which treatment is right for her at this point.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 01/2003; 72(1):3-9. · 7.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The concept of psychological well-being has been neglected for a long time in scientific literature. Over the last decades, however, many psychometric instruments have been developed to measure it. The aim of the present study was to analyze the concept of psychological well-being and its relationship to distress and personality traits. It is clinically and empirically important to establish where the measures of well-being are located in relation to symptomatology indices and personality traits.
A sample of 450 subjects in the general population completed three self-rating scales for the assessment of symptomatology (Kellner's Symptom Questionnaire), psychological well-being (Ryff's Psychological Well-Being Scales, PWB), and personality traits (Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire). The assessment was repeated after 1 month. Pearson's coefficient was used to analyze PWB test-retest reliability and correlations between well-being, distress and personality indicators. Exploratory factor analysis was performed for both assessments.
Test-retest Pearson's coefficients were satisfactory for all six PWB scales. Exploratory factor analyses showed a 4- or 5-factor structure, where well-being, distress and personality remained separated. PWB scales were negatively and significantly correlated with all symptom scales, but only with one personality dimension, TPQ Harm Avoidance. Mean-level differences by gender showed that in general women significantly presented with lower levels of well-being (except in Positive Relations) and higher levels of distress and personality disturbances.
The results suggest that the relationship of well-being to distress and personality is complex. Psychological well-being could not be equated with the absence of symptomatology or with personality traits. PWB scales measure an attitude toward optimal functioning that is crucial for a comprehensive consideration of individuals in clinical settings.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 01/2003; 72(5):268-75. · 7.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have emphasized the chronic nature of depressive disorder, and the need for endorsing the same treatment protocols used for other chronic disease, such as diabetes. But duration of treatment does not seem to affect long-term prognosis of patients with depression, once the drug is stopped. Despite treating depression effectively in the short-term, antidepressant drugs may worsen its course. Treatment of depression by pharmacological means is likely to leave residual symptoms in most patients. Such symptoms are important risk factors for relapse. In randomised controlled studies, cognitive behavioural treatment of residual symptoms significantly improved long-term outcome of recurrent depression. Indeed, depressive disorder has a chronic nature, but antidepressants are not the only possible treatment strategy. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is an alternative, which is effective in engendering a complete and lasting recovery in patients with depression.
Recenti progressi in medicina 07/2002; 93(6):343-5.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Little is known about psychological well-being in remitted patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia and its interactions with residual symptoms. Methods: Thirty patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia who displayed a successful response to exposure therapy, and 30 control subject matched for sociodemographic variables, were administered both observer-rated and self-rated scales for assessing residual symptoms and well-being. Results: Patients had significantly more residual symptoms — as assessed by the Clinical Interview for Depression (CID) and the Symptom Questionnaire (SQ) — than controls. They also had significantly less environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life and self-acceptance — as measured by the Psychological Well-being Scales (PWB) — and less SQ physical well-being than controls. Limitation: The findings apply to patients with panic disorders who had been treated by behavioral methods and may be different in drug-treated subjects. Conclusions: The results indicate that successful reduction of symptomatology in panic disorder cannot be equated to a pervasive recovery (encompassing psychological well-being) and may pave the way for sequential therapeutic strategies of more enduring quality.
Journal of Affective Disorders 08/2001; · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is very little information on long-term follow-up of social phobia.
A consecutive series of 70 patients satisfying the DSM-IV criteria for social phobia was treated in an out-patient clinic with behavioural methods based on exposure homework. Forty-five patients were judged to be remitted after eight individual sessions of psychotherapy. A 2 to 12 year (median = 6 years) follow-up was performed. Survival analysis was selected to characterize the clinical course of patients. Assessments were performed before treatment, at the end of therapy, after 1 year, and subsequently on a yearly basis, and utilized selected items of Paykel's Clinical Interview for Depression.
Six of the 45 patients (13%) had a relapse of social phobia at some time during follow-up. The estimated cumulative percentage of patients remaining in remission was 98 after 2 years, 85 after 5 years and 85 after 10 years. Such probabilities increased in the absence of a personality disorder, of residual social phobic avoidance after exposure, and of concurrent use of benzodiazepines.
The findings suggest that, even though one patient out of three is unable to complete treatment or does not benefit sufficiently from it, exposure treatment can provide lasting effects to the majority of patients with social phobia. Disappearance of residual, subclinical social phobic avoidance appears to be the target of treatment.
Psychological Medicine 08/2001; 31(5):899-905. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of long-term outcome studies of panic disorder that exceed a 2-year follow-up. The aim of the study was to evaluate the long-term follow-up of patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia treated according to a standardized protocol.
A consecutive series of 200 patients satisfying the DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder with agoraphobia was treated in an out-patient clinic with behavioural methods based on exposure homework. One hundred and thirty-six patients became panic free after 12 sessions of psychotherapy and 132 were available for follow-up. A 2- to 14-year (median = 8 years) follow-up was performed. Survival analysis was employed to characterize the clinical course of patients.
Thirty-one of the 132 patients (23%) had a relapse of panic disorder at some time during follow-up. The estimated cumulative percentage of patients remaining in remission was 93.1 after 2 years, 82.4 after 5 years, 78.8 after 7 years and 62.1 after 10 years. Such probabilities increased with younger age, and in the absence of a personality disorder, of high pre-treatment levels of depressed mood, of residual agoraphobic avoidance after exposure, and of concurrent use of benzodiazepines and antidepressant drugs.
The findings suggest that exposure treatment can provide lasting relief to the majority of patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Disappearance of residual and subclinical agoraphobic avoidance, and not simply of panic attacks, should be the aim of exposure therapy.
Psychological Medicine 08/2001; 31(5):891-8. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The biopsychosocial model of disease has recently been depicted as the basis for a renewed emphasis on the multiaxial diagnostic system of the DSM-IV. The authors challenge this stance, underscoring the clinical inadequacies of the DSM-IV in the setting of medical disease, particularly the chapters concerned with somatoform disorders and psychological factors affecting medical conditions. Diagnostic criteria which are based on the clinical insights derived from psychosomatic research in the past decades may offer new opportunities to psychosomatic medicine and consultation-liaison psychiatry. The development of the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), encompassing alexithymia, type A behavior, irritable mood, demoralization, disease phobia, thanatophobia, health anxiety, illness denial, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder, persistent somatization, conversion symptoms and anniversary reaction, is described. Preliminary results obtained with the combination of DSM and DCPR criteria appear to be promising.
Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 01/2001; 70(4):171-5. · 7.23 Impact Factor