Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patient personality can hinder detection of depression, research finds

Date:
October 8, 2010
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Patient personality affects the accuracy of reports by friends and family members of mood history and symptoms and can cause missed diagnoses of depression, according to new research.

Patient personality affects the accuracy of reports by friends and family members of mood history and symptoms and can cause missed diagnoses of depression, according to research published online by the journal International Psychogeriatrics.

Friends and family members of a person who is highly outgoing and fun-loving and who is likely to experience happiness and excitement, for example, often miss the signs that indicate the person is depressed.

"When a person who has enjoyed socializing and whose mood normally is positive becomes depressed, friends and family often don't recognize it. Depression is inconsistent with the expectations that people have," said Paul R. Duberstein, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and corresponding author of the journal article.

Missed diagnoses and "false negatives" can have grave consequences for patients with depression or mood disorders, the researchers stated.

Understanding and improving the ability of friends and family to identify depression could enhance the appropriate use of services for depressed older adults and improve the quality of treatment monitoring, the researchers concluded.

The research is based on the study of 191 primary care patients aged 60 or older from the Rochester, N.Y., area and their friends and family members.

Older patients tend to discuss their health concerns with friends and family members, who often accompany them on visits to physicians. Information provided by friends and family members can help identify at-risk individuals.

When the research began, researchers hypothesized that friends and family would miss depression in a person who is introverted.

"But our research showed the opposite to be true," Duberstein said. "We found the signs of depression were more likely to be missed in people with an outgoing, extraverted personality."

The researchers also found that friends and family missed signs of depression in a person characterized as "agreeable," someone who is more trusting and more altruistic or who might be considered a conformist.

"It is important for people to understand that people who are highly extraverted and highly agreeable can become depressed and that the signs of depression for these people are more likely to be missed or detected by friends and family," Duberstein said "Don't assume that because someone is outgoing or agreeable that they are not vulnerable to becoming depressed."

Physicians should be particularly vigilant when interpreting reports from friends and family members of their extraverted or agreeable patients, the researchers stated.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

In addition to Duberstein, the article's authors include: Benjamin P. Chapman, Ph.D., Yeates Conwell, M.D., Joanne McGriff, M.D., M.P.H., Nathan Franus, M.S., Silvia Sorensen, Ph.D., Xin M. Tu, Ph.D., Jeffrey M. Lyness, M.D., and Kimberly A. Kaukeinen of the University of Rochester Medical Center; Marnin J. Heisel, Ph.D., of University of Western Ontario, Yan Ma, Ph.D., of the Weill Cornell Medical College, and James C. Coyne, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul R. Duberstein, Yan Ma, Benjamin P. Chapman, Yeates Conwell, Joanne McGriff, James C. Coyne, Nathan Franus, Marnin J. Heisel, Kimberly A. Kaukeinen, Silvia S?rensen, Xin M. Tu, Jeffrey M. Lyness. Detection of depression in older adults by family and friends: distinguishing mood disorder signals from the noise of personality and everyday life. International Psychogeriatrics, 2010; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1041610210001808

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Patient personality can hinder detection of depression, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007103654.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2010, October 8). Patient personality can hinder detection of depression, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007103654.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Patient personality can hinder detection of depression, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007103654.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) — New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins