Psychological Characterization of Demoralization in the Setting of Heart Transplantation
J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72(5):648-654
© Copyright 2015 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
Purchase This PDF for $40.00
If you are not a paid subscriber, you may purchase the PDF.
(You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
Receive immediate full-text access to JCP. You can subscribe to JCP online-only ($86) or print + online ($156 individual).
With your subscription, receive a free PDF collection of the NCDEU Festschrift articles. Hurry! This offer ends December 31, 2011.
If you are a paid subscriber to JCP and do not yet have a username and password, activate your subscription now.
As a paid subscriber who has activated your subscription, you have access to the HTML and PDF versions of this item.
Click here to login.
Did you forget your password?
Still can't log in? Contact the Circulation Department at 1-800-489-1001 x4 or send email
Objective: The aims of this study were to examine the psychological features of demoralization and its overlap with major depressive disorder in a sample of cardiac transplant recipients, with special reference to psychological well-being, quality of life, and psychological distress. We also tested whether demoralization was significantly associated with demographic characteristics and clinical parameters, including survival status at a 6-year follow-up.
Method: From May to December 2002, 95 heart transplanted patients were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research, leading to the identification of major depressive disorder and demoralization, respectively. Patients also completed Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-Being, Kellner’s Symptom Questionnaire, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life–Brief Version scale.
Results: Demoralization was related to impairments in physical, psychological, social, and environmental quality of life and in psychological well-being, especially self-acceptance and environmental mastery (all P ≤ .05). It was also associated with higher levels of psychological distress, and it was more frequent in women (P = .027) and in single patients (P = .038). The co-occurrence of a major depressive episode did not alter this pattern of associations. The addition of demoralization to major depressive disorder resulted in decreased Scales of Psychological Well-Being autonomy, positive relations, and self-acceptance (all P ≤ .05). Demoralization and major depressive disorder were identified in 31 (32.6%) and 14 (14.7%) patients, respectively. Among depressed subjects, 5 (35.7%) were not demoralized, and 22 (71%) of those with demoralization did not satisfy the criteria for major depressive disorder. Nine patients were both depressed and demoralized.
Conclusion: Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research–defined demoralization has some distinctive features that confirm previous phenomenological observations.
J Clin Psychiatry
Submitted: March 6, 2009; accepted October 22, 2009.
Online ahead of print: December 14, 2010 (doi:10.4088/JCP.09m05191blu).
Corresponding author: Giovanni A. Fava, MD, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127 Bologna, Italy (email@example.com).