Funcionamiento psicosocial en pacientes agudos y crónicos no psiquiátricos en régimen hospitalario: depresión, alexitimia y falta de asertividad

Marcelo Arancibia, Rosa Behar, Sofía Marín, Nicolás Inzunza, Eva Madrid


Background: Depression, alexithymia, and lack of assertiveness interfere with individual psychosocial functioning and may result in longer hospitalization stay and poorer therapeutic results. Aim:To analyze the psychosocial functioning in acute and chronic patients and its association with psychological, clinical and sociodemographic variables.Material and methods: We performed a cross-sectional study that included 80 inpatients of both sexes with organic pathology, aged between 18 to 70 years old, without any current psychiatric disorder. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected from a semi-structured interview and hospital records. Beck Depression Inventory-IA, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and Rathus Assertiveness Scale were administered. Results: Fifty five percent of patients had some degree of depression, 33% alexithymia and 34% lack of assertiveness. The levels of depression, alexithymia and lack of assertiveness in chronic patients were significantly higher than those observed in acute patients. Women and participants older than 60 years exhibited the highest degrees of depression. Alexithymia and lack of assertiveness were associated with a lower educational level. A negative significant correlation between alexithymia and assertiveness scores was observed among acute patients. Conclusions: Participants with chronic diseases had a lower psychosocial functioning.Less educated patients showed more alexithymic and less assertive features. We emphasized the need of a better management of these aspects by the health team, since social functioning might interfere with the outcome of physical illnesses.

Palabras clave

Affective Symptoms; Assertiveness; Depression; Inpatients; Mood Disorders

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