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Psychopathology. 1984;17(3):105-9.

Patterns of depression and illness behaviour in general hospital patients.


Little interest has been taken in the characteristics of depression in medical and surgical patients and its correlations with syndromes which may be subsumed under the rubric of abnormal illness behaviour. Depressive symptoms and abnormal illness behaviour as measured by self-rating scales were studied among 325 inpatients of a general hospital. A principal component analysis was carried out. A first factor reflecting general severity was characterized by depressed affect, somatic symptoms, retardation, hypochondriasis, and disease conviction and showed considerable stability within the group. A second factor suggested that in contrast to the younger patients, older patients had a tendency to focus on somatic problems and not psychological determinants, were likely to attribute all difficulties to physical illness, and lacked readiness to report interpersonal friction.

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