Dimensions of psychopathology in the medically ill: A latent trait analysis

David M. Clarke, Andrew J. Mackinnon, Graeme C. Smith, Dean P. McKenzie, Helen E. Herrman

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49 Citations (Scopus)


The authors examined the latent structure of psychiatric symptoms occurring in patients with medical illness. Symptom data were collected from 312 hospitalized medically ill patients using the Monash Interview for Liaison Psychiatry and subjected to latent trait analysis. A model with 5 dimensions provided an acceptable fit to the data. Dimensions were characterized as demoralization, anhedonia, autonomic anxiety, somatic symptoms, and grief. The demoralization dimension was similar to the concept of demoralization described by Frank and to the 'giving up-given up complex' described by Engel. The concepts of demoralization, grief, and anhedonia may be useful in increasing understanding of the minor depressions in people with medical illness and in increasing the specificity of psychological and pharmacological treatments for these disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-425
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

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