Stressful Life Events in Psychiatric and Medical Patients

Asreene AR, Mohd. Razali S


Abstract: The objective of this study is to compare the nature, severity and frequency of preceding life event; and the impact of stress between psychiatric and medical patients. A total of 256 patients, which were equally divided into 4 subgroups were recruited for this study. The psychiatric patients were comprised of neurotic and psychotic subgroup; while coronary heart disease (CHD) and other medical illness subgroup formed the medical group. The preceding life event and the objective negative impact were assessed with Interview for Recent Life Event (IRLE). At least one preceding life event was reported in 206 patients. Of these, 179 (87%) reported independent event. Neurotic patients reported the highest number of independent life event, whereas psychotic subgroup had the most frequent dependent event. Family and social problem were the most common problem encountered by patients in both groups. Although neurotic patients suffered the most severe impact of stress, there was no significant difference in the severity as compared with other subgroups.


Stress, life event, medical illness, psychoses, neuroses.

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