To investigate the personality disorders (PDs) diagnosed in patients with depressive disorders.
Material and methods
This study included a cross-sectional analysis, and was an extension of the Thai Study of Affective Disorder (THAISAD) project. Eighty-five outpatients with depressive disorders were interviewed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Inventory to assess for depression, in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision and using the Thai version of the Structured Clinical Interview for PDs to assess for PD.
Seventy-seven percent of the patients had at least one PD, 40% had one PD and 60% had two or more PDs (mixed cluster). The most common PDs found were borderline PD (20%) and obsessive–compulsive PD (10.6%), while the occurrence of avoidant PD was low when compared to the findings of previous, related studies. Among the mixed cluster, cluster A combined with cluster C was the common mix. Both dysthymic disorder and double depression were found to have a higher proportion of PDs than major depressive disorder (85.7% versus 76.1%). Dependent PD was found to be less common in this study than in previous studies, including those carried out in Asia.
The prevalence of PDs among those with depressive disorder varied, and only borderline PD seems to be consistently high within and across cultures. Mixed cluster plays a prominent role in depression, so more attention should be paid to patients in this category.
personality disorders; depressive disorder; prevalence; Asian; mixed cluster; SCID-II
The impact of personality disorders on the treatment of and recovery from depression is still a controversial topic. The aim of this paper is to provide more information on what has led to this disagreement.
Materials and methods
Clinician-rated Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) scores were assessed among 82 depressed outpatients who were receiving a routine treatment combination of antidepressant medication and psychosocial intervention. The participants were followed up over five visits at 3-month intervals: at the baseline, at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Personality disorders were assessed after the last visit in accordance with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. These repeated measures were used to explore the impact of personality disorders on HAMD scores by using a linear mixed model.
Among the four personality clusters that were used (A, B, C, and mixed), only those in cluster B and in the mixed cluster were found to take significantly longer than those without personality disorders, for reduction in HAMD scores over the course of treatment.
In this study, the impact of personality disorders on treatment outcomes varied with the way that the personality disorder variables were described and used as independent predictors. This is because the outcomes were influenced by the impact weight of each personality disorder, even within the same cluster.
depressive disorder; mixed linear model; impact; multilevel analysis
The purpose of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of the Thai version of the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU), when compared to the diagnoses made by delirium experts.
Patients and methods
This was a cross-sectional study conducted in both surgical intensive care and subintensive care units in Thailand between February–June 2011. Seventy patients aged 60 years or older who had been admitted to the units were enrolled into the study within the first 48 hours of admission. Each patient was randomly assessed as to whether they had delirium by a nurse using the Thai version of the CAM-ICU algorithm (Thai CAM-ICU) or by a delirium expert using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision.
The prevalence of delirium was found to be 18.6% (n=13) by the delirium experts. The sensitivity of the Thai CAM-ICU’s algorithms was found to be 92.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] =64.0%−99.8%), while the specificity was 94.7% (95% CI =85.4%−98.9%). The instrument displayed good interrater reliability (Cohen’s κ =0.81; 95% CI =0.64−0.99). The time taken to complete the Thai CAM-ICU was 1 minute (interquatile range, 1−2 minutes).
The Thai CAM-ICU demonstrated good validity, reliability, and ease of use when diagnosing delirium in a surgical intensive care unit setting. The use of this diagnostic tool should be encouraged for daily, routine use, so as to promote the early detection of delirium and its rapid treatment.
delirium; surgical intensive care unit; Confusion Assessment Method for the intensive care unit; validity; reliability
Whether self-reporting and clinician-rated depression scales correlate well with one another when applied to older adults has not been well studied, particularly among Asian samples. This study aimed to compare the level of agreement among measurements used in assessing major depressive disorder (MDD) among the Thai elderly and the factors associated with the differences found.
Patients and methods
This was a prospective, follow-up study of elderly patients diagnosed with MDD and receiving treatment in Thailand. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Inventory (MINI), 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-17), 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-30), 32-item Inventory of Interpersonal Problems scale, Revised Experience of Close Relationships scale, ten-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were used. Follow-up assessments were conducted after 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.
Among the 74 patients, the mean age was 68±6.02 years, and 86% had MDD. Regarding the level of agreement found between GDS-30 and MINI, Kappa ranged between 0.17 and 0.55, while for Gwet’s AC1 the range was 0.49 to 0.91. The level of agreement was found to be lowest at baseline, and increased during follow-up visits. The correlation between HAMD-17 and GDS-30 scores was 0.17 (P=0.16) at baseline, then 0.36 to 0.41 in later visits (P<0.01). The PSS-10 score was found to be positively correlated with GDS-30 at baseline, and predicted the level of disagreement found between the clinicians and patients when reporting on MDD.
The level of agreement between the GDS, MINI, and HAMD was found to be different at baseline when compared to later assessments. Patients who produced a low GDS score were given a high rating by the clinicians. An additional self-reporting tool such as the PSS-10 could, therefore, be used in such under-reporting circumstances.
late-life depression; measurement; correlation
The Thai Study of Affective Disorders was a tertiary hospital-based cohort study developed to identify treatment outcomes among depressed patients and the variables involved. In this study, we examined the baseline characteristics of these depressed patients.
Patients were investigated at eleven psychiatric outpatient clinics at tertiary hospitals for the presence of unipolar depressive disorders, as diagnosed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. The severity of any depression found was measured using the Clinical Global Impression and 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) clinician-rated tools, with the Thai Depression Inventory (a self-rated instrument) administered alongside them. Sociodemographic and psychosocial variables were collected, and quality of life was also captured using the health-related quality of life (SF-36v2), EuroQoL (EQ-5D), and visual analog scale (EQ VAS) tools.
A total of 371 outpatients suffering new or recurrent episodes were recruited. The mean age of the group was 45.7±15.9 (range 18–83) years, and 75% of the group was female. In terms of diagnosis, 88% had major depressive disorder, 12% had dysthymic disorder, and 50% had a combination of both major depressive disorder and dysthymic disorder. The mean (standard deviation) scores for the HAMD, Clinical Global Impression, and Thai Depression Inventory were 24.2±6.4, 4.47±1.1, and 51.51±0.2, respectively. Sixty-two percent had suicidal tendencies, while 11% had a family history of depression. Of the major depressive disorder cases, 61% had experienced a first episode. The SF-36v2 component scores ranged from 25 to 56, while the mean (standard deviation) of the EQ-5D was 0.50±0.22 and that of the EQ VAS was 53.79±21.3.
This study provides an overview of the sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics of patients with new or recurrent episodes of unipolar depressive disorders.
baseline characteristics; depressive disorder; Thailand; treatment outcome; prospective cohort
Somatization is a common symptom among the elderly, and even though personality disorders have been found to be associated with somatization, personality traits have not yet been explored with regard to this symptom. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between personality traits and somatization, and social inhibition.
Patients and methods
As part of a cross-sectional study of a community sample, 126 elderly Thais aged 60 years or over completed self-reporting questionnaires related to somatization and personality traits. Somatization was elicited from the somatization subscale when using the Symptom Checklist SCL-90 instrument. Personality traits were drawn from the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire and social inhibition was identified when using the inventory of interpersonal problems. In addition, path analysis was used to establish the influence of personality traits on somatization and social inhibition.
Of the 126 participants, 51% were male, 55% were married, and 25% were retired. The average number of years in education was 7.6 (standard deviation =5.2). “Emotional stability” and “dominance” were found to have a direct effect on somatization, as were age and number of years in education, but not sex. Also, 35% of the total variance could be explained by the model, with excellent fit statistics. Dominance was found to have an indirect effect, via vigilance, on social inhibition, which was also influenced by number of years in education and emotional stability. Social inhibition was not found to have any effect on somatization, although hypothetically it should.
“Emotional stability”, “dominance”, and “vigilance”, as well as age and the number of years in education, were found to have an effect on somatization. Attention should be paid to these factors in the elderly with somatization.
trait; mediator; neuroticism; somatization
This study aimed to analyse the validity of the Thai version of the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) when using DSM-IV criteria.
A cross-sectional study was carried out of 84 elderly residents in a residential care home setting in Thailand. The participants went through a comprehensive geriatric assessment which included a Mini-Mental State Examination, a Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) and use of the CSDD tool. A ROC analysis was performed in order to test the validity of the CSDD as against the DSM-IV when used by the MINI.
ROC analysis revealed a better score for those areas found under the curve for the CSDD-as against the DSM-IV criteria (0.96). With a cut-off score of >6, the CSDD yielded the highest sensitivity score (100%), plus produced a specificity of 81% and a negative predictive value of 100%. It also had a positive predictive value of 69%. The validity of the CSDD was found to be better for the group experiencing cognitive impairment than with the non-cognitive impairment group in terms of the agreement of CSDD items between patients and caregivers. The CSDD yielded a high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.87).
CSDD is a valid tool to use for identifying depressive disorders among Thai LTC home residents - those experiencing and those not experiencing cognitive impairment.
The Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD); Validity; Thai
The aim of this study was to establish the level of correlation between the suicide item contained within the Core Symptom Index (CSI), and the presence of suicidal thoughts as assessed by the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) and the Cornell Scale of Depression in Dementia (CSDD).
Patients and methods
Seventy elderly residents in a long term care facility were included in this study. All of these patients completed a CSI and a geriatric depression scale (GDS), plus were interviewed using CSDD, MINI (suicide module), and MMSE. Test characteristics of item two of the CSI (suicidal thoughts) and MINI were compared. Gwet’s AC1 and Cohen’s Kappa were also used to test the level of agreement between raters, and univariate analysis was used to determine predictors for the severity of any suicidal thoughts present.
There was found to be a significant correlation between suicidal ideation, as assessed by item two of the CSI, and the suicidal ideation score as assessed by MINI and CSDD (r=0.773 and r=0.626, P<0.001, respectively). The level of agreement across all three instruments was good (Gwet’s AC1 =0.907). The CSI yielded a high level of sensitivity (100%) and specificity (90.32%) for suicidal thoughts as measured by MINI, with an area under the curve of 97%. When assessing predictors of the severity of suicidal thoughts, only item two of the CSI predicted severity, while the depression, GDS, and total scores obtained from the CSI did not.
CSI item two has the ability to detect suicidal ideation, regardless of whether the patient has cognitive impairment and/or depression or not, and is currently the best predictor of its presence. Therefore, it shows promise as a measure for screening the presence of suicidal thoughts among the elderly in long term care facilities.
core symptom index; elderly; suicidality; suicidal thoughts; long-term care; depression
This validation study aims to examine Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) items in terms of the agreement found between residents and caregivers, and also to compare alternative models of the Thai version of the CSDD.
Patients and methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted of 84 elderly residents (46 women, 38 men, age range 60–94 years) in a long-term residential home setting in Thailand between March and June 2011. The selected residents went through a comprehensive geriatric assessment that included use of the Mini-Mental State Examination, Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and CSDD instruments. Intraclass correlation (ICC) was calculated in order to establish the level of agreement between the residents and caregivers, in light of the residents’ cognitive status. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was adopted to evaluate the alternative CSDD models.
The CSDD yielded a high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.87) and moderate agreement between residents and caregivers (ICC = 0.55); however, it was stronger in cognitively impaired subjects (ICC = 0.71). CFA revealed that there was no difference between the four-factor model, in which factors A (mood-related signs) and E (ideational disturbance) were collapsed into a single factor, and the five-factor model as per the original theoretical construct. Both models were found to be similar, and displayed a poor fit.
The CSDD demonstrated a moderate level of interrater agreement between residents and caregivers, and was more reliable when used with cognitively impaired residents. CFA indicated a poorly fitting model in this sample.
Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD); factor structure; long-term care; interrater variability
Rater agreement is important in clinical research, and Cohen’s Kappa is a widely used method for assessing inter-rater reliability; however, there are well documented statistical problems associated with the measure. In order to assess its utility, we evaluated it against Gwet’s AC1 and compared the results.
This study was carried out across 67 patients (56% males) aged 18 to 67, with a mean SD of 44.13 ± 12.68 years. Nine raters (7 psychiatrists, a psychiatry resident and a social worker) participated as interviewers, either for the first or the second interviews, which were held 4 to 6 weeks apart. The interviews were held in order to establish a personality disorder (PD) diagnosis using DSM-IV criteria. Cohen’s Kappa and Gwet’s AC1 were used and the level of agreement between raters was assessed in terms of a simple categorical diagnosis (i.e., the presence or absence of a disorder). Data were also compared with a previous analysis in order to evaluate the effects of trait prevalence.
Gwet’s AC1 was shown to have higher inter-rater reliability coefficients for all the PD criteria, ranging from .752 to 1.000, whereas Cohen’s Kappa ranged from 0 to 1.00. Cohen’s Kappa values were high and close to the percentage of agreement when the prevalence was high, whereas Gwet’s AC1 values appeared not to change much with a change in prevalence, but remained close to the percentage of agreement. For example a Schizoid sample revealed a mean Cohen’s Kappa of .726 and a Gwet’s AC1of .853 , which fell within the different level of agreement according to criteria developed by Landis and Koch, and Altman and Fleiss.
Based on the different formulae used to calculate the level of chance-corrected agreement, Gwet’s AC1 was shown to provide a more stable inter-rater reliability coefficient than Cohen’s Kappa. It was also found to be less affected by prevalence and marginal probability than that of Cohen’s Kappa, and therefore should be considered for use with inter-rater reliability analysis.
Inter-rater reliability; Coefficients; Cohen’s Kappa; Gwet’s AC1; Personality disorders
To assess the psychometric properties of the Thai version of the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (TGDS-15) when screening for major depression (MDD) among geriatric outpatients (GOs) and long-term care (LTC) home residents in Thailand.
This was a cross-sectional study of 156 geriatric outpatients and 81 LTC home residents. All 237 participants were given a Mini-Mental State Examination, a MDD diagnosis according to the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and completed a TGDS-15 questionnaire. Sensitivity, specificity, overall accuracy, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated. A comparison between the two groups was carried out. Differential Item Functioning (DIF) using logistic regression and factor analytic study were also applied.
Overall, 38.4% of the participants were found to have MDD. The TGDS-15 was found to perform better when used with the GOs than with the LTC home residents, revealing a sensitivity of 0.92 and a specificity of 0.87 in the GOs (cut-off score of ≥ 5), but a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 49% with the LTC home group (cut-off score of ≥ 8), when comparing only cognitively intact subjects. The negative predictive value (NPV) was very good for both groups, but the positive predictive value (PPV) for the GO group was much better than for those in the LTC group (83.3% vs. 31.2%). Seven uniform DIF items were found - 2 by gender and 4 by age. Cronbach’s alpha was higher for the GO group than for the LTC home residents. Factor analysis supported a two-factor solution, using the ‘depressed mood’ and ‘positive mood’ factors, which accounted for 46.55% of the total variance.
The TGDS-15 scale was effective at screening for MDD in elderly cognitively intact Thais, those in both GO and LTC settings, as the sensitivity and NPV were shown to be very good in both groups. However, in the LTC setting, the low specificity and PPV found leads to the need for a further assessment to be carried among the potentially depressed individuals, based on the GDS results. Taking the factor analytic study into account, a more suitable version of the GDS should be developed.
Geriatric Depression Scale; Elderly; Long-term care home; Thai
A number of factors, such as demographics, cognitive function, personality and interpersonal relationship) play a role in late-life depression. This study investigates the influence of social inhibition on the inverse emotional stability (neuroticism) and depressive symptoms found in elderly Thai people.
In total, 123 elderly Thais aged 60 years of age or older were tested using the 64-item Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, Symptom Checklist-90, and the 16 Personality Factors Questionnaire. Hierarchical regression and path analyses were performed in order to identify the relationships among these variables.
The age of the participants ranged from 60 to 93 years old (mean = 71.7; SD = 6.2), and out of the group, 51.2% were male, 56.1% were married and 61.8% were on a low income. The average number of years spent in education among the participants was 7.6 (SD = 5.1). The variables found to be significantly associated with depression were age, intellect, social inhibition and possession of inverse emotional stability (neuroticism). Low levels of emotional stability were most strongly associated with depressive symptoms (standardized regression coefficients −0.29), but this effect was found to be reduced (mediated, to −0.26) by social inhibition. In total, 30% of the total variance could be explained by this model, and there was an excellent statistical fit.
The variables found to be significantly associated with depression were a younger age, as well as lower levels of intellectual skill, social inhibition and inversed emotional stability (neuroticism). It was found that a lack of emotional stability is, along with a younger age, the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms, but can be mediated by social inhibition.
Social inhibition; Mediator; Neuroticism; Elderly; Depression
This study seeks to investigate the psychometric properties of the short version of the revised ‘Experience of Close Relationships’ questionnaire, comparing non-clinical and clinical samples.
In total 702 subjects participated in this study, of whom 531 were non-clinical participants and 171 were psychiatric patients. They completed the short version of the revised ‘Experience of Close Relationships’ questionnaire (ECR-R-18), the Perceived Stress Scale-10(PSS-10), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the UCLA Loneliness scale. A retest of the ECR-R-18 was then performed at four-week intervals. Then, confirmatory factor analyses were performed to test the validity of the new scale.
The ECR-R-18 showed a fair to good internal consistency (α 0.77 to 0.87) for both samples, and the test-retest reliability was found to be satisfactory (ICC = 0.75). The anxiety sub-scale demonstrated concurrent validity with PSS-10 and RSES, while the avoidance sub-scale showed concurrent validity with the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Confirmatory factor analysis using method factors yielded two factors with an acceptable model fit for both groups. An invariance test revealed that the ECR-R-18 when used on the clinical group differed from when used with the non-clinical group.
The ECR-R-18 questionnaire revealed an overall better level of fit than the original 36 item questionnaire, indicating its suitability for use with a broader group of samples, including clinical samples. The reliability of the ECR-R- 18 might be increased if a modified scoring system is used and if our suggestions with regard to future studies are followed up.
ECR-R-18; short; the Experiences of Close Relationships; Confirmatory factor analysis.
This study examines the Thai version of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) for its psychometric properties.
In total 462 participants were recruited - 310 medical students from Chiang Mai University and 152 psychiatric patients, and they completed the Thai version of the MSPSS, the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the Thai Depression Inventory (TDI). Test-retest reliability was conducted over a four week period.
Factor analysis produced three-factor solutions for both patient (PG) and student groups (SG), and overall the model demonstrated adequate fit indices. The mean total score and the sub-scale score for the SG were statistically higher than those in the PG, except for ‘Significant Others’. The internal consistency of the scale was good, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.91 for the SG and 0.87 for the PG. After a four week retest for reliability exercise, the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was found to be 0.84. The Thai-MSPSS was found to have a negative correlation with the STAI and the TDI, but was positively correlated with the RSES.
The Thai MSPSS is a reliable and valid instrument to use.
Social support; MSPSS; Reliability; Validity; Factor analysis; Confirmatory Factor analysis; Thai.
Delirium is a common illness among elderly hospitalized patients. However, under-recognition of the condition by non-psychiatrically trained personnel is prevalent. This study investigated the performance of family physicians when detecting delirum in elderly hospitalized Thai patients using the Thai version of the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) algorithm.
A Thai version of the CAM algorithm was developed, and three experienced Thai family physicians were trained in its use. The diagnosis of delirium was also carried out by four fully qualified psychiatrists using DSM-IV TR criteria, which can be considered the gold standard. Sixty-six elderly patients were assessed with MMSE Thai 2002, in order to evaluate whether they had dementia upon admission. Within three days of admission, each patient was interviewed separately by a psychiatrist using DSM-IV TR, and a family physician using the Thai version of the CAM algorithm, with both sets of interviewers diagnosing for delirium.
The CAM algorithm tool, as used by family physicians, demonstrated a sensitivity of 91.9% and a specificity of 100.0%, with a PPV of 100.0% and an NPV of 90.6%. Interrater agreement between the family physicians and the psychiatrists was good (Cohen's Kappa = 0.91, p < 0.0001). The mean of the time the family physicians spent using CAM algorithm was significantly briefer than that of the psychiatrists using DSM-IV TR.
Family physicians performed well when diagnosing delirium in elderly hospitalized Thai patients using the Thai version of the CAM algorithm, showing that this measurement tool is suitable for use by non-psychiatrically trained personnel, being short, quick, and easy to administer. However, proper training on use of the algorithm is required.
Among the stress instruments that measure the degree to which life events are perceived as stressful, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is widely used. The goal of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of a Thai version of the PSS-10 (T-PSS-10) with a clinical and non-clinical sample. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity, and the factorial structure of the scale were tested.
A total sample of 479 adult participants was recruited for the study: 368 medical students and 111 patients from two hospitals in Northern Thailand. The T-PSS-10 was used along with the Thai version of State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Thai Version of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the Thai Depression Inventory (TDI).
Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) yielded 2 factors with eigenvalues of 5.05 and 1.60, accounting for 66 percent of variance. Factor 1 consisted of 6 items representing "stress"; whereas Factor 2 consisted of 4 items representing "control". The item loadings ranged from 0.547 to 0.881. Investigation of the fit indices associated with Maximum Likelihood (ML) estimation revealed that the two-factor solution was adequate [χ2 = 35.035 (df = 26, N = 368, p < 0.111)]; Goodness-of-Fit Index (GFI) = 0.981; Root Mean Square Residual (RMR) = 0.022; Standardized Root Mean square Residual (SRMR) = 0.037, Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.989; Normed Fit Index (NFI) = 0.96, Non-Normed Fit Index (NNFI) = 0.981, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.031. It was found that the T-PSS-10 had a significant positive correlation with the STAI (r = 0.60, p < 0.0001), and the TDI (r = 0.55, p < 0.0001); and was significantly negatively correlated with the RSES (r = -0.46, p < 0.0001, N = 368). The overall Cronbach's alpha was 0.85. The ICC was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.72 and 0.88) at 4 week-retest reliability.
The Thai version of the PSS-10 demonstrated excellent goodness-of-fit for the two factor solution model, as well as good reliability and validity for estimating the level of stress perception with a Thai population. Limitations of the study are discussed.
It has been reported for over the past decade that the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) may associate with the emergence of apathy. The authors hypothesized that depressed patients treated with SSRI's would show more signs of apathy than patients treated with non-SSRI antidepressants. This case control study was conducted to investigate the possibility of the association between SSRI use and the occurrence of apathy.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care's Day Hospital Database of elderly depressed patients who received antidepressants was divided into 2 groups depending on antidepressant use at discharge: SSRI user group-SUG, and non-SSRI user group-NSUG. Apathy scales developed by the authors were selected from the Geriatric depression Scale (GDS) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD), and were titled as GDS-apathy subscale (GAS) and HAMD-apathy subscale (HAS). Demographic data, baseline apathy, underlying medical conditions and medication use were studied. Proportion, analysis of variances, Chi-square test, odds ratio with 95% confidence interval were reported.
Among 384 patients (160 SUG and 224 NSUG), mean GDS and HAM-D at discharge were 12.46 and 10.61 in SUG, and were 11.37 and 9.30 in NSUG, respectively. Using GAS for apathy assessment, 83.7% of patients in SUG and 73.4% in NSUG stayed apathetic at discharge. As evaluated by HAS, 44.2% of patients in SUG and 36.5% in NSUG stayed apathetic. SSRI use was not a predictor of apathy at admission, while it was at discharge, p = 0.029. The SUG showed more patients with apathy than that found in NSUG (adjusted OR = 1.90 (1.14–3.17). Age 70–75 years tended to be a predictor for the apathy (p = 0.058). Using HAS, age 70–75 years and living situation were associated with apathy at discharge, p = 0.032 and 0.038 respectively.
Even though depression was improved in elderly patients receiving antidepressants, apathy appeared to be greater in patients who were treated with SSRI than that found in patients who were not. Frontal lobe dysfunction due to alteration of serotonin is considered to be one of the possibilities.
Over-prescribing of benzodiazepines appears common in many countries, a better understanding of prescribing practices and attitudes may help develop strategies to reduce prescribing. This study aimed to evaluate benzodiazepine prescribing behaviour and attitudes in general practitioners practising in Chiang Mai and Lampoon, Thailand.
Questionnaire survey of general practitioners in community hospitals, to estimate: i) use of benzodiazepines for anxiety/insomnia, panic disorder, depression, essential hypertension, and uncomplicated low back pain and ii) views on the optimal duration of benzodiazepine use.
Fifty-five of 100 general practitioners returned the completed questionnaires. They reported use of benzodiazepines for anxiety/insomnia (n = 51, 93%), panic disorder (n = 43, 78%), depression (n = 26, 43%), essential hypertension (n = 15, 27 %) and uncomplicated low back pain (n = 10, 18%). Twenty-eight general practitioners would prescribe benzodiazepines for non-psychiatric conditions, 17 for use as muscle relaxants. Seventy-five per cent, 62% and 29% of the general practitioners agreed or totally agreed with the use of benzodiazepines for insomnia, anxiety and depression, respectively. Practitioners agreed that prescribing should be less than one week (80%); or from 1 week to 1 month (47%); or 1 to 4 months (16%); or 4 to 6 months (5%) or more than 6 months (2%). Twenty-five general practitioners (45%) accepted that they used benzodiazepines excessively in the past year.
A considerable proportion of general practitioners in Chiang Mai and Lampoon, Thailand inappropriately use benzodiazepines for physical illnesses, especially essential hypertension and uncomplicated low back pain. However, almost half of them thought that they overused benzodiazepines. General practitioner's lack of time, knowledge and skills should be taken into account in improving prescribing behaviour and attitudes.