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Thread: Is this science? (psychiatry study)

  1. #1
    The Eighth Colour Array Octarine's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    10w so

    Default Is this science? (psychiatry study)

    Design Patients were surveyed with self-report questionnaires assessing somatization and psychiatric disorder. Medical care utilization was obtained from automated encounter data for the year preceding the index visit. Medical morbidity was indexed with a computerized medical record audit.
    (from Results)When these findings are extrapolated to the national level, an estimated $256 billion a year in medical care costs are attributable to the incremental effect of somatization alone.

    Conclusions Patients with somatization had approximately twice the outpatient and inpatient medical care utilization and twice the annual medical care costs of nonsomatizing patients. Adjusting the findings for the presence of psychiatric and medical comorbidity had relatively little effect on this association.
    Somatization was assessed with 1 categorical and 1 dimensional instrument: the somatoform disorder module of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) and the Somatic Symptom Inventory (SSI). The PHQ somatoform disorder module is a self-report instrument composed of 15 somatic symptoms, including 10 of the diagnostic symptoms of DSM-IV somatization disorder.
    To make a definitive diagnosis of a somatoform disorder, a medical evaluation must be performed to determine whether an adequate medical explanation exists for every symptom the patient endorses. Since we omitted this medical evaluation, we were not able to distinguish definitively between medically explained symptoms and somatoform (medically unexplained) symptoms. However, total self-reported PHQ somatic symptom counts have been shown to be highly associated with physician-rated somatoform disorder symptom counts. Therefore, the PHQ symptom count in this study can only be characterized as indicative of a provisional diagnosis of a somatoform disorder. Thus, in this article, patients referred to as somatizers are those with a high likelihood of being formally diagnosed with a somatoform disorder.
    However, like the PHQ, the SSI is a self-report measure and, hence, without an independent medical examination, the possible medical basis of each self-reported symptom cannot be definitively ruled out.
    I dug up the questionaires:

    The PHQ is a depression Questionnaire: Not at all (0) - Several days (1) - More than half the days (2) - Nearly every day (3)
    (1-4=minimal, 5-9=mild, 10-14=moderate, 15-19=moderately severe, 20-27=severe

    Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?
    1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things
    2. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
    3. Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
    4. Feeling tired or having little energy
    5. Poor appetite or overeating
    6. Feeling bad about yourself—or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down
    7. Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
    8. Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed? Or the opposite—being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual
    9. Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way

    SSI: (ratings 1-5 indicating severity)
    1. Nausea and vomiting
    2. Soreness in your abdomen
    3. Pains or cramps in your abdomen
    4. Feeling faint or dizzy
    5. Trouble with your vision
    6. Your muscles twitching or jumping
    7. Feeling fatigued, weak, or tired all over
    8. A fullness in your head or nose
    9. Pains in your lower back
    10. Constipation
    11. Trouble catching your breath
    12. Hot or cold spells
    13. A ringing or buzzing in your ears
    14. Pains in your heart or chest
    15. Difficulty keeping your balance while walking
    16. Indigestion, upset stomach, or acid stomach
    17. The feeling that you are not in as good physical health as mos
    18. Numbness, tingling, or burning in parts of your body
    19. Headaches
    20. A lump in your throat
    21. Feeling weak in parts of your body
    22. Not feeling well most of the time in the past few years
    23. Heavy feelings in your arms or legs
    24. Your heart pounding, turning over or missing a beat
    25. Your hands and feet not feeling warm enough
    26. The sense that your hearing is not as good as it used to be

    Translation: If you happen to report as somewhat depressed on a questionnaire, and also happen to be ill at the same time, apparently you are a somatiser and cost the US economy an estimated $256 billion a year in medical care costs. Especially if you are an unmarried woman.

    My opinion:
    People sometimes (often) get depressed due to unrelated illnesses. And people who are more ill tend to have higher health care costs.
    So where do these guys get off calling this science and stating such conclusions?

  2. #2


    Maybe these people are depressed because they don't feel good?

    According to the list, many of these symptoms can be caused by a number of physical reactions from your external environment.

    Heart palpitations could be due to increased stress or caffeine levels, a product of the rising standard to do more, and keep up with the efficiency of technology.

    Sinus symptoms, can be related to increases in pollution, or the toxicity of the environment, look at allergies.

    Stomach problems can be linked to the uprise in processed food etc.

    These are just a couple I threw out there to make a point, didn't read too much into it.

    Basically what I am saying is that I believe there is a physical factor behind every sensation. The medical field, while trained to look at life threatening pathological illness, does not take into account the evolutionary changes between the body and the environment. They call it somatic, or brought about by the mind, when this is not always totally the case.

    I once had a severe stomach ache for two freaking years, and yes it was depressing, specially since the doctors told me I was full of shit, or that it was due to depression. Funny I couldn't remember being upset before the stomach ache started.

    Finally, I said fuck the doctors, and started experimenting with the food I was eating.

    Took about a month of incorporating a yogurt and small amount of orange juice into my diet, and eating very little elsewhere, for the stomach ache to be cured.

    Had I been told that would fix the issue in the first place, I would have been much happier. Instead, I was told to take an anti depressant, which wouldn't have fixed anything.

    I learned I have a sensitivity to MSG, and slow metabolism. That my body sucks at breaking down complex foods, and the aid of a healthy bacteria could serve to get the process of digestion a helping hand.

    The sugar in the orange juice would get the digestion system activated. The yogurt would help it along. After establishing a routine, the body became accustomed to preforming its job.

    Doctors are idiots.

  3. #3
    324B21 Array nonsequitur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    512 sp/so


    lol, you're complaining about pseudoscience in psychiatry on a forum about MBTI?


  4. #4
    The Eighth Colour Array Octarine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    10w so


    Just what this thread needs. Another nonsequitur.

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