Adjustment Disorders in Medically Ill Inpatients Referred for Consultation in a University Hospital

Michael K Popkin, Allan L. Callies, Eduardo` A Colon, Victor Stiebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study examined medical records of 121 medical-surgical inpatients diagnosed with adjustment disorder by psychiatric consultants in a university hospital. Medical illness was the primary stressor, evoking the maladaptive reaction in 83 (68.6%) cases. These patients were largely free of preceding psychiatric problems, suffering protracted hospitalizations for advanced illnesses, particularly malignancy and diabetes: in contrast, the 38 (31.4%) patients whose adjustment disorder was precipitated by a stressor other than medical illness had established psychiatric histories and recurrent problems with relationships or finances. The data suggest that in the medically ill, identifying the primary stressor producing an adjustment disorder is more instructive than focusing upon “predominant” symptomatology and “subtypes.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-414
Number of pages5
JournalPsychosomatics
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

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