Adjustment disorder and life events
Doruk, A. (2008) Adjustment disorder and life events. Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry (Anadolu Psikiyatri Dergisi), 9 (4). pp. 197-202. ISSN 1302-6631
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Objective: Various studies conducted on the military personnel have indicated that adjustment disorder (AD) is an important mental health problem in this population. This disorder seriously impairs social and occupational functioning in military service. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association between life events and adjustment disorder in a sample of soldier in the year prior to the onset of military service. Methods: Our sample comprised of 71 soldiers with a diagnosis of AD and 69 healthy soldiers without any adaptation problems during the first six months of military service. The diagnosis of adjustment disorder was confirmed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. The level of adjustment disorder was assessed by using the Clinical Global Impressions. The life events were investigated using the Sorias’ Life Events List. Results: The prevalenceof subtypes of adjustment disorder in this sample were 45.1% for anxiety 19.7% for mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct 15.5% for depressed mood 8.5% for mixed anxiety and depressed mood and 7% for unspecified subtypes. The mean number of life events in patients with AD (8.2±6.0 events) was significantly higher than the control group (3.0±3.7 events). 35.2% of patients with AD reported their number of life events between 1-5, 32.4% between 6-10 events and 29.6% had 11 or higher life events. The patients with a history of lifetime suicide attempt were higher in AD group than control group (38% vs 33.8% respectively) whereas the percentage of patient s with a lifetime substance abuse was higher in control group (1.4%vs 4.3% respectively). In addition, patients with a history of suicide attempt and substance use had higher number of life events than those without any history of sucidie attempt and substance use. Discussion: These findings suggest that life events have a substantial causal relationship with AD. Special attention should be given to soldiers who have experienced an accumulation of stressful events, because of higher vulnerability risk.
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