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Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;197(1):61-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.076596.

Somatic symptom overlap in Beck Depression Inventory-II scores following myocardial infarction.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, and Department of Psychiatry and Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada. brett.thombs@mcgill.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depression measures that include somatic symptoms may inflate severity estimates among medically ill patients, including those with cardiovascular disease.

AIMS:

To evaluate whether people receiving in-patient treatment following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) had higher somatic symptom scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) than a non-medically ill control group matched on cognitive/affective scores.

METHOD:

Somatic scores on the BDI-II were compared between 209 patients admitted to hospital following an AMI and 209 psychiatry out-patients matched on gender, age and cognitive/affective scores, and between 366 post-AMI patients and 366 undergraduate students matched on gender and cognitive/affective scores.

RESULTS:

Somatic symptoms accounted for 44.1% of total BDI-II score for the 209 post-AMI and psychiatry out-patient groups, 52.7% for the 366 post-AMI patients and 46.4% for the students. Post-AMI patients had somatic scores on average 1.1 points higher than the students (P<0.001). Across groups, somatic scores accounted for approximately 70% of low total scores (BDI-II <4) v. approximately 35% in patients with total BDI-II scores of 12 or more.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings contradict assertions that self-report depressive symptom measures inflate severity scores in post-AMI patients. However, the preponderance of somatic symptoms at low score levels across groups suggests that BDI-II scores may include a small amount of somatic symptom variance not necessarily related to depression in post-AMI and non-medically ill respondents.

PMID:
20592436
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2894982
Free PMC Article
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