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Depress Anxiety. 2006;23(1):42-9.

The utility of somatic symptoms as indicators of depression and anxiety in military veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Department of Behavioral, Applied Sciences, and Criminal Justice, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, USA.


The interrelationship between medical illnesses and psychological distress has received increasing attention in the last several years. Partly at issue is the best way to diagnose mental health problems such as depression and anxiety in medical populations. Specifically, are somatic symptoms a valid indicator of depression and anxiety in a medical population? Furthermore, do anxiety and depression remain as distinct constructs for this population, or do they combine to represent general distress? We examine these issues using confirmatory factor analysis in a sample of 202 military veterans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Results indicate best fit for a model of depression and anxiety for which the constructs remained separate rather than as combined indicators of general distress. Furthermore, in this model, somatic symptoms are retained as valid indicators of psychological distress for this sample.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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