How ubiquitous are physical and psychological complaints in young and middle adulthood?
- 106 Downloads
To investigate continuity and change of self-reported physical and psychological complaints in young adults over a period of 20 years.
Study design and setting
The Zurich Study – a long-term panel survey in psychiatric epidemiology – is based on a stratified sample of 591 subjects born in 1958 (women) and 1959 (men). The sample strata combine SCL-90-R high-scorers and low-scorers in a 2:1 ratio. Up to now, the Zurich Study has included six interviews between 1979 and 1999, i.e. 20 years of life in young adults. We analysed the longitudinal frequency data of a variety of physical and psychological complaints, as well as information about subjective suffering and use of professional help. The analyses utilised on the McNemar’s test, the Q-test and Markov chain models.
Sleep disorders, depression, menstruation, backache, headache, stomach and bowel complaints yielded cumulative prevalence rates of 80% or higher. Physical and psychological complaints systematically differ with respect to the change patterns between 1979 and 1999. Moreover, strong differences were found in view of subjective suffering and use of professional help.
Even though many self-reported physical and psychological complaints are very common in young adulthood, the underlying dynamics and the implications largely differ. It seems to be crucial whether respondents use somatic glasses or psychological lenses.
Keywordsself-reported symptoms longitudinal study psychiatric epidemiology Switzerland
The study was supported by the Swiss National Science foundation (Grant # 32-50881.97).
- 1.Derogatis L (1977) SCL-90. Administration, scoring and procedures manual-1 for the R (revised) version and other instruments of the Psychopathology Rating Scale Series, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- 3.Pennebaker JW (2000) Psychological factors influencing the reporting of physical symptoms. In: Stone AA, Turkkan JS, Bachrach CA, Jobe JB, Kurtzman HS, Cain VS (eds) The science of self-report. Implications for research and practice. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 299–316Google Scholar
- 5.Myrtek M (1998) Gesunde Kranke – kranke Gesunde. Hans Huber, BernGoogle Scholar
- 6.Barsky AJ (2000) The validity of bodily symptoms in medical outpatients. In: Stone AA, Turkkan JS, Bachrach CA, Jobe JB, Kurtzman HS, Cain VS (eds) The science of self-report. Implications for research and practice. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 339–362Google Scholar
- 10.Angst J, Binder J (1980) Epidemiology of depressive symptoms in a 20-year-old Swiss population. Psychiatria Fennica 65–70Google Scholar
- 14.American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM IV). American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- 15.Bortz J, Lienert GA, Boehnke K (2000) Verteilungsfreie Methoden in der Biostatistik [Nonparametric methods in biostatistics]. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- 16.Bishop YMM, Fienberg SE, Holland PW (1975) Discrete multivariate analysis. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- 17.Vermunt JK (1997) lEM: a general program for the analysis of categorical data. Tilburg UniversityGoogle Scholar
- 25.Ajdacic-Gross V, Graf M (2003) Bestandesaufnahme und Daten zur psychiatrischen Epidemiologie. Schweizerisches Gesundheitsobservatorium, NeuchatelGoogle Scholar