Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a chronic illness complicating both mental health and quality of life. Individuals with AF have been reported to experience greater psychological distress than the general population. Nevertheless, assessment strategies did not allow to evaluate fundamental information, such as type, extent and consequences of stress. Recently, according to the clinimetric approach, Fava and colleagues have introduced specific criteria for evaluating the allostatic overload (AO) in clinical setting. It refers to a state due to the cumulative interactions of life events and chronic life stressors that, by exceeding the individual resources, may constitute a danger to health. Our study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of this new definition of AO in a sample of 62 patients suffering from AF. Specifically, our goal was to verify if such definition of AO may discriminate AF patients at high risk for clinical psychological distress. Results showed no differences between AF participants with and without AO in socio-demographic and health variables. Concerning psychiatric variables, patients with AO were more likely to be diagnosed with minor depression, GAD and panic disorders than subjects without AO. Also, they were more likely to suffer from DCPR syndromes of health anxiety and demoralization than AF individuals without AO. Our findings support the hypothesis that clinimetric indexes may help physicians to identify distress manifestations and clinically relevant information more easily than diagnostic criteria do.

Allostatic overload in patients with atrial fibrillation

OFFIDANI, EMANUELA;RAFANELLI, CHIARA;GOSTOLI, SARA;
2013

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a chronic illness complicating both mental health and quality of life. Individuals with AF have been reported to experience greater psychological distress than the general population. Nevertheless, assessment strategies did not allow to evaluate fundamental information, such as type, extent and consequences of stress. Recently, according to the clinimetric approach, Fava and colleagues have introduced specific criteria for evaluating the allostatic overload (AO) in clinical setting. It refers to a state due to the cumulative interactions of life events and chronic life stressors that, by exceeding the individual resources, may constitute a danger to health. Our study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of this new definition of AO in a sample of 62 patients suffering from AF. Specifically, our goal was to verify if such definition of AO may discriminate AF patients at high risk for clinical psychological distress. Results showed no differences between AF participants with and without AO in socio-demographic and health variables. Concerning psychiatric variables, patients with AO were more likely to be diagnosed with minor depression, GAD and panic disorders than subjects without AO. Also, they were more likely to suffer from DCPR syndromes of health anxiety and demoralization than AF individuals without AO. Our findings support the hypothesis that clinimetric indexes may help physicians to identify distress manifestations and clinically relevant information more easily than diagnostic criteria do.
Emanuela Offidani;Chiara Rafanelli;Sara Gostoli;Gabriello Marchetti;Renzo Roncuzzi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/143363
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