Severe disease in a parent is associated with increased psychosocial problems in their children. However, moderating factors of such associations are less studied. In this cross-sectional population-based controlled study we examined the moderating effects of a history of parental cancer on the association between impaired health status in parents and psychosocial problems among their teenagers. Among families with both parents responding to the adult Health Survey of Nord-Trøndelag County of Norway (the HUNT-2 study) 71 couples were identified with primary invasive cancer in one parent. Their 81 teenage children took part in the Young-HUNT study. These families were compared to 322 cancer-free families with 328 teenagers. Based on self-report data the relations between three variables of parental impaired health and six psychosocial problems in teenagers were analyzed family wise by structural equation modeling. Significant associations between parental and teenagers' variables were observed in eight of 18 models. A history of parental cancer was a significant moderator which decreased four of eight significant associations. Such a history significantly weakened the associations between parental poor self-rated health and teenagers' anxiety/depression and school problems. A similar association of a history of parental cancer was found between psychological distress in parents and teenagers' feelings of loneliness and poor self-rated health. This study confirmed strong associations between impaired parental health and psychosocial problems in their teenagers. A history of parental cancer weakened several of the significant associations between parental impaired health variables and psychosocial problems in their teenagers.
HUNT-2; parental cancer; psychosocial problems; teenagers; young-HUNT
Few studies have examined the impact of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on adult ADHD functional outcomes. To address this issue dimensionally, ADHD symptoms in childhood and adulthood and their relation to educational deficits and work disability are studied in a clinical sample of adult patients with previously untreated ADHD. About 250 adults diagnosed systematically with ADHD according to DSM-IV were prospectively recruited. Primary outcomes were high school dropout and being out of the work last year. Childhood ADHD symptoms, sex differences, comorbidities of other mental disorders, and adult ADHD symptoms were examined by historical data, clinician interviews, and questionnaires. High levels of ADHD symptom severity in childhood were related to dropping out of high school [odds ratio (OR) = 3.0], as were higher numbers of hyperactive–impulsive symptoms in childhood. Significantly, more women than men were long-term work disabled (OR = 2.0). After adjusting for age and gender, persisting high levels of ADHD inattention symptoms in adulthood (OR = 2.5), number of comorbid disorders, and particularly anxiety disorders were significantly related to long-term work disability. Childhood hyperactive–impulsive symptoms and overall severity of childhood ADHD symptoms were associated with high school dropout rates; however, persisting ADHD inattention symptoms and comorbid mental disorders in adulthood were more correlated to occupational impairment. These findings underline proposals for studies on early recognition and interventions for ADHD and psychiatric comorbidity. They further suggest that inattentive symptoms be a focus of adult ADHD treatment and that workplace interventions be considered to prevent long-term work disability.
Attention deficit; Adult ADHD; School dropout; Comorbidity; Occupational disability
There is a lack of empirical studies of patients’ level of humiliation during the hospital admission process and its implications for the clinical setting. We wanted to explore associations between self-rated humiliation and socio-demography and psychopathology in relation to admission to a psychiatric emergency unit.
Consecutively admitted patients (N = 186) were interviewed with several validated instruments. The patients self-rated humiliation by The Cantril Ladder, and 35% of the sample was defined as the high humiliation group.
Final multivariate analysis found significant associations between compulsory admission, not being in paid work, high scores on hostility, and on entitlement, and high levels of humiliation. No significant interactions were observed between these variables, and the narcissism score was not a confounder concerning humiliation.
High level of humiliation during the admission process was mainly related to patient factors, but also to compulsory admission which should be avoided as much as possible protecting the self-esteem of the patients.
Humiliation; Psychiatry; Narcissism; Psychopathology; Violence
Testicular cancer represents the most curable solid tumor, with a 10-year survival rate of more than 95%. Given the young average age at diagnosis, it is estimated that effective treatment approaches, in particular, platinum-based chemotherapy, have resulted in an average gain of several decades of life. This success, however, is offset by the emergence of considerable long-term morbidity, including second malignant neoplasms, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, pulmonary toxicity, hypogonadism, decreased fertility, and psychosocial problems. Data on underlying genetic or molecular factors that might identify those patients at highest risk for late sequelae are sparse. Genome-wide association studies and other translational molecular approaches now provide opportunities to identify testicular cancer survivors at greatest risk for therapy-related complications to develop evidence-based long-term follow-up guidelines and interventional strategies. We review research priorities identified during an international workshop devoted to testicular cancer survivors. Recommendations include 1) institution of lifelong follow-up of testicular cancer survivors within a large cohort setting to ascertain risks of emerging toxicities and the evolution of known late sequelae, 2) development of comprehensive risk prediction models that include treatment factors and genetic modifiers of late sequelae, 3) elucidation of the effect(s) of decades-long exposure to low serum levels of platinum, 4) assessment of the overall burden of medical and psychosocial morbidity, and 5) the eventual formulation of evidence-based long-term follow-up guidelines and interventions. Just as testicular cancer once served as the paradigm of a curable malignancy, comprehensive follow-up studies of testicular cancer survivors can pioneer new methodologies in survivorship research for all adult-onset cancer.
Patients suspected of personality disorders (PDs) by general practitioners are frequently referred to psychiatric outpatient clinics (POCs). In that setting an effective screening instrument for PDs would be helpful due to resource constraints. This study evaluates the properties of The Iowa Personality Disorder Screen (IPDS) as a screening instrument for PDs at a POC.
In a cross-sectional design 145 patients filled in the IPDS and were examined with the SCID-II interview as reference. Various case-findings properties were tested, interference of socio-demographic and other psychopathology were investigated by logistic regression and relationships of the IPDS and the concept of PDs were studied by a latent variable path analysis.
We found that socio-demographic and psychopathological factors hardly disturbed the IPDS as screening instrument. With a cut-off ≥4 the 11 items IPDS version had sensitivity 0.77 and specificity 0.71. A brief 5 items version showed sensitivity 0.82 and specificity 0.74 with cut-off ≥ 2. With exception for one item, the IPDS variables loaded adequately on their respective first order variables, and the five first order variables loaded in general adequately on their second order variable.
Our results support the IPDS as a useful screening instrument for PDs present or absent in the POC setting.
Personality disorders; Screening instrument; Iowa Personality Disorder Screen; Psychometrics
This study aims to explore the effects of a 1-week inpatient course including information, physical activity (PA), and group sessions on physical and mental health-related outcomes for prostate cancer (PCa) patients. Further to assess the patients’ satisfaction with the course. PCa patients completed a questionnaire assessing PA, fatigue, mental distress, and quality of life 1 month before (T0) and 3 months after (T1) the course. Total fatigue, physical fatigue, and PSA anxiety decreased significantly from T0 to T1. No significant changes were observed in the other measures. The majority of the participants were satisfied with the course. In spite of minor reductions in fatigue and PSA anxiety and satisfied patients, the findings indicate that a 1-week inpatient course does not influence substantially on most of the health-related outcomes in PCa patients 3 months after the course.
Prostate cancer; Information; Physical activity; Fatigue; Mental distress; Quality of life
Due to considerable health status differences in the elderly population, research limited to narrow age-spans might be an advantage. In this population-based controlled study we compare short-term (<5 years) (STS) and long-term (≥5 years) (LTS) cancer survivors and cancer-free controls aged 60-69 years from two Norwegian health registers; the Health Survey of North-Trøndelag County (HUNT-2 study) and the Cancer Registry of Norway (CRN). We examined possible factors associated with being cancer survivor.
Among 9,089 individuals aged 60-69 who participated in HUNT-2, 334 had been diagnosed with invasive primary cancer from 1 month to 42 years before HUNT-2 according to CRN and self-report. An overall random sample of controls without cancer five times larger than the sample of cases (N = 1,670) were drawn from the parent cohort.
The cancer sample comprised 128 STS and 206 LTS. For most variables no significant differences were observed between LTS and STS. LTS were significantly more women, and cases with gynaecological cancer, with physical impairment and more thyroid diseases compared to STS. When comparing all the survivors with controls, the survivors showed significantly higher rate of pensioning, decreased self-rated health, more physical impairment and thyroid diseases, daily use of medication and psychotropics and higher level of anxiety and Framingham Risk score. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that increasing age, being female, physical impairment and thyroid diseases all were significantly associated with being survivor versus controls.
STS and LTS showed mostly similar situation. Compared to controls, the survivors reported somewhat poorer physical and mental health, but these differences were of doubtful clinical significance.
This cross-sectional and longitudinal study of breast cancer survivors (BCSs) examines the associations between arm/shoulder problems (ASPs), which consist of pain, restricted mobility and lymphedema, and different aspects of quality of life (QoL).
BCSs who had breast surgery, axillary lymph node dissection and radiotherapy (n = 255) were examined in 2004 (mean 4.1 years post-surgery) and a sub-sample (n = 187) was re-examined in 2007. ASPs was rated clinically in 2004 and by self-report (EORTC BR23) in 2004 and 2007. QoL was self-reported with The Short Form-36 (SF-36) and The Impact of Cancer scale (IOC).
In 2004 BCSs with ASPs showed significantly poorer mean scores in most SF-36 domains compared to those without. No group differences were observed for positive IOC domains, while BCSs with ASPs showed significantly poorer mean scores in the negative ones. BCSs with clinically defined movement restriction showed significantly poorer SF-36 and negative IOC mean scores than those with clinically defined lymphedema. The longitudinal sub-study of self-rated pain, restricted mobility and lymphedema showed significant changes over time only for negative IOC domains in the pain group. Self-rated restricted mobility and lymphedema were significantly associated with most SF-36 domains both in 2004 and 2007, while few were associated with pain. Self-rated pain and restricted mobility showed significant associations with negative IOC domains.
Implications for cancer survivors
Not only lymphedema, but pain and restricted mobility in the arm/shoulder are significantly associated with poor QoL in BCSs at long-term. These problems should be diagnosed and treated in order to improve QoL.
Abduction; Arm morbidity; Breast cancer; Lymphedema; Pain; Radiotherapy; Quality of life
Screening for a major depressive episode (MDE) in high-risk groups of patients within the primary care setting has been suggested by several Central Health Organizations. The objective of this study was to investigate whether patients rated as “psychiatric cases” by their general practitioner (GP) were likely to suffer from MDE and therefore qualified for systematic diagnostic screening.
Cross-sectional survey of primary care patients assessed through depression screening questionnaires and GP consultations.
A total of 676 general practices in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
A total of 8879 unselected primary care patients.
Main outcome measures
Sensitivity, specificity, and Youden Index of the GPs' diagnoses of depression and psychiatric caseness versus patients' MDE status.
The proportion of primary care patients receiving a false-positive diagnosis of depression by their GP ranged from 12.4% to 25.2% depending on country. The corresponding numbers for the false-negative diagnoses were 0.5–2.5%. Among patients with MDE, GPs recognize the disease in 56–75% of cases. However, GPs recognize as many as 79–92% of patients with MDE as “psychiatric cases”.
This report confirms that misclassifications of MDE are common in the primary care setting. In addition, it shows that psychiatric caseness is a valid marker for the presence of MDE in primary care patients. This relationship should be considered in future screening recommendations.
Depression; diagnosis; family practice; mass screening; questionnaires
Low blood pressure has mainly been regarded as ideal, but recent studies have indicated an association with depression in elderly people.
To investigate whether low blood pressure is associated with anxiety and depression in the general population.
Participants in the population‐based Nord‐Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT‐2, 1995–7), Norway.
60 799 men and women aged 20–89 years filled in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale as part of a general health study. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was classified in age‐stratified and sex‐stratified centile groups.
Compared with participants with systolic blood pressure within the 41–60 centile (reference) group, the odds ratio for anxiety was 1.31 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.16 to 1.49), for depression 1.22 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.46), and for comorbid anxiety and depression 1.44 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.68) in the group with ⩽5 centile systolic blood pressure. Slightly weaker associations were found of low diastolic blood pressure with anxiety and depression. These associations were similar across sex and age groups. Physical impairment, smoking and angina pectoris influenced the associations only marginally, whereas stroke, myocardial infarction, use of drugs for hypertension, body mass index and several other covariates had no influence.
This study represents epidemiological evidence for an association of low blood pressure with anxiety and depression, which is not caused by cardiovascular disease.
Epithelial ovarian cancer survivors (EOCSs) frequently report multiple complaints after their treatment. The objective was to study somatic and mental morbidity in EOCSs associated with their Self- Rated Health (SRH) assessed by a single item.
Findings were compared to age-matched controls from the general population.
In a cross -sectional follow-up design 189/287 (66%) EOCSs treated at The Norwegian Radiumhospital 1979–2003 responded to a mailed questionnaire on demographic data, and somatic and mental morbidity. SRH last week was rated on item #29 of the European Organization and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire in 84/189 (97%) of responding EOCSs. For comparisons "good" and "poor" SRH groups were defined by the median score on the SRH item.
EOCSs with "poor SRH" had higher level of somatic symptoms, anxiety, depression and fatigue than those with "good SRH" (p < .001). In multivariate analyses somatic symptoms, age and fatigue, were significantly associated with the SRH score in EOCSs, but not the cancer-related variables (FIGO stage, recurrence in < 6 months or chemotherapy ever). The model explained 70% of the variance in SRH in linear and 77% in logistic regression analyses. The distribution of the SRH scores in EOCSs did not differ significantly from that of normative controls; however a higher proportion of controls recorded a high SRH score.
SRH is strongly related to common somatic complaints, impairment and fatigue but not to cancer-related variables. A single question concerning SRH last week might be a quick screening method for collecting important information on symptoms in EOCSs, in addition to cancer – related questions.
The objective was to examine various aspects of narcissism in patients admitted to acute psychiatric wards and to compare their level of narcissism to that of an age- and gender-matched sample from the general population (NORM).
This cross-sectional study interviewed 186 eligible acute psychiatric patients with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). The patients filled in the Narcissistic Personality Inventory-21 item version (NPI-21), The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. High and low narcissism was defined by the median of the total NPI-21 score. An age- and gender-matched control sample from the general population also scored the NPI-21 (NORM).
Being male, involuntary admitted, having diagnosis of schizophrenia, higher self-esteem, and severe violence were significantly associated with high narcissism, and so were also low levels of suicidality, depression, anxiety and GAF scores. Severe violence and high self-esteem were significantly associated with high narcissism in multivariable analyses. The NPI-21 and its subscales showed test-retest correlations ≥0.83, while the BPRS and the HADS showed lower correlations, confirming the trait character of the NPI-21. Depression and suicidality were negatively associated with the NPI-21 total score and all its subscales, while positive association was observed with grandiosity. No significant differences were observed between patients and NORM on the NPI-21 total score or any of the NPI subscales.
Narcissism in the psychiatric patients was significantly associated with violence, suicidality and other symptoms relevant for management and treatment planning. Due to its trait character, use of the NPI-21 in acute psychiatric patients can give important clinical information. The similar level of narcissism found in patients and NORM is in need of further examination.
The 2005 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definition of the metabolic syndrome was designed to be useful worldwide, but to date few prevalence studies have used that definition in European populations. We estimated the age- and sex-stratified prevalence of IDF-defined metabolic syndrome in a county of Norway and compared it with the prevalence estimated using the revised National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel-III definition (2005 ATP III).
Cross-sectional analysis of 10,206 participants aged 20–89 years in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study 1995–97 (HUNT 2).
Prevalence of IDF-defined metabolic syndrome was 29.6% (95% CI: 28.8 to 30.5), compared to 25.9% (95% CI: 25.0 to 26.7) using the 2005 ATP III criteria. The prevalence of IDF-defined metabolic syndrome increased from 11.0% in the 20–29 years age group to 47.2% in the 80–89 years group in men, and from 9.2% to 64.4% for women in the corresponding age groups. Among men and women aged ≥60 years, the IDF criteria classified 56.7% and 75.0%, respectively, as having central obesity, and 89.3% and 90.9%, respectively, as being hypertensive.
According to both definitions, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome increased strongly with age. The IDF and the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines for clinical management of metabolic syndrome would classify a high proportion of elderly Norwegians as in need of overall risk assessment for cardiovascular disease.
Several studies have shown that general practitioners (GPs) under-diagnose common mental disorders, and that training courses hardly improve this practice. The influence of GPs' self-perceived ability to recognize the severity of such disorders on these facts has not been investigated. This study explores: 1) GPs' perceived ability to recognize major depressive episode (MDE) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in their patients; 2) The GPs' observed ability to recognize severity of these disorders; and 3) If the observed ability to recognize severity is associated with their perceived ability.
In a cross-sectional design 40 Norwegian GPs examined 15 – 28 patients each (total N = 724). The GPs' rated their perceived ability to recognize MDE and GAD on a four-point Likert-scale. The GPs' observed ability to recognize severity was defined as the mean of the correlations between the GPs rating of Clinical Global Impression-Severity Scale and the diagnostic reference standards for MDE and GAD filled in by patients.
Twenty-two GPs considered their perceived ability to recognize MDE as rather good, and the other 18 as moderate/bad. For GAD 12 GPs' perceived their ability as rather good, while 28 considered their ability to be moderate/bad. The observed ability to recognize severity concerning MDE was 0.63 and concerning GAD 0.45. There was no significant association between GPs' perceived and observed abilities to recognize MDE (p = 0.19) and GAD (p = 0.34)
This study found a discrepancy between the GPs' perceived and observed ability to recognize common mental disorders. The lack of association between GPs' perceived and observed ability to recognize such disorders indicate low understanding of own recognition abilities. This might contribute to explain the low effectiveness of interventions aimed to increase GPs' abilities to recognize mental disorders.
General practitioners' (GPs) diagnostic skills lead to underidentification of generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) and major depressive episodes (MDE). Supplement of brief questionnaires could improve the diagnostic accuracy of GPs for these common mental disorders.
The aims of this study were to examine the usefulness of The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Rating Scale (HADS) for GPs by: 1) Examining its psychometrics in the GPs' setting; 2) Testing its case-finding properties compared to patient-rated GAD and MDE (DSM-IV); and 3) Comparing its case finding abilities to that of the GPs using Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) rating.
In a cross-sectional survey study 1,781 patients in three consecutive days in September 2001 attended 141 GPs geographically spread in Norway. Sensitivity, specificity, optimal cut off score, and Area under the curve (AUC) for the HADS and the CGI-S were calculated with Generalized Anxiety Questionnaire (GAS-Q) as reference standard for GAD, and Depression Screening Questionnaire (DSQ) for MDE.
The HADS-A had optimal cut off ≥8 (sensitivity 0.89, specificity 0.75), AUC 0.88 and 76% of patients were correctly classified in relation to GAD. The HADS-D had by optimal cut off ≥8 (sensitivity 0.80 and specificity 0.88) AUC 0.93 and 87% of the patients were correctly classified in relation to MDE. Proportions of the total correctly classified at the CGI-S optimal cut-off ≥3 were 83% of patients for GAD and 81% for MDE.
The results indicate that addition of the patients' HADS scores to GPs' information could improve their diagnostic accuracy of GAD and MDE.
Epidemiological studies have found reduced health-related quality of life (QoL) in patients with personality disorders (PDs), but few clinical studies have examined QoL in PDs, and none of them are from an ordinary psychiatric outpatient clinic (POC). We wanted to examine QoL in patients with PDs seen at a POC, to explore the associations of QoL with established psychiatric measures, and to evaluate QoL as an outcome measure in PD patients.
72 patients with PDs at a POC filled in the MOS Short Form 36 (SF-36), and two established psychiatric self-rating measures. A national norm sample was compared on the SF-36. An independent psychiatrist diagnosed PDs and Axis-I disorders by structured interviews and rated the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). All measurements were repeated in the 39 PD patients that attended the 2 years follow-up examination.
PD patients showed high co-morbidity with other PDs and Axis I mental disorders, and they scored significantly lower on all the SF-36 dimensions than age- and gender-adjusted norms. Adjustment for co-morbid Axis I disorders had some influence, however. The SF-36 mental health, vitality, and social functioning were significantly associated with the GAF and the self-rated psychiatric measures. Significant changes at follow-up were found in the psychiatric measures, but only on the mental health and role-physical of the SF-36.
Patients with PDs seen for treatment at a POC have globally poor QoL. Both physical and mental dimensions of the SF-36 are correlated with established psychiatric measures in such patients, but significant changes in these measures are only partly associated with changes in the SF-36 dimensions.
232 family members from 27 Norwegian families with BRCAl mutations were offered genetic testing. 180/232 (78%) chose to be tested, 14/232 (6%) have not yet decided and 38/232 (16%) declined. All 232 persons were invited to fill in the following questionnaires when offered testing: Impact of Event Scale (IES), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). 207/232 (89%) responded to the questionnaires. Of those declining to be tested 23/38 (61%) answered the questionnaires compared to 170/180 (94%) of those wanting the test (p < 0.0001).
A higher proportion of females with a history of cancer than females without such a history had abnormal scores on the IES-intrusion and GHQ questionnaires (p < 0.001). Healthy females who were deciding on predictive testing had the same or lower prevalence of mental distress compared to the general population, between 4.3% and 18.0% as measured by the different questionnaires. Males did not differ from healthy females on any of the measures.
According to their HADS scores, women without a history of cancer deciding on predictive testing for breast-ovarian cancer had lower or equal levels of mental distress compared to the general population. The high uptake of genetic testing combined with the lower than normal prevalence of mental distress indicates that the activity may continue as practised, awaiting longitudinal data concerning the levels of mental distress after genetic testing.