Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 61 Issue 3 (September 1988), Pages 209-304

Depression in medical in‐patients (pages 245-254)

Between one‐fifth and one‐third of patients hospitalized on general medicine wards experience significant depressive symptoms during their hospitalization. This study employed 71 general medical in‐patients and examined the relative association of illness/hospitalization characteristics, patient characteristics and environmental characteristics with in‐patient medical depression. Multiple regression results indicated that in‐patient medical depression was related to pre‐hospitalization depression and social functioning, patient perception of physician supportiveness and patient perception of illness‐related life‐disruption. None of the objective illness/hospitalization variables related to depression while in the hospital. These results are interpreted with regard to several current theories in medical psychology including a life‐stress model emphasizing the ability of prior disorder to predict subsequent disorder, a social interaction model focusing on the effects of physicians's supportive behaviour on patients' emotional adjustment in the hospital, and models of illness that stress cognitive appraisal in determining illness‐related mood and behaviour.

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