Depression in medical in-patients

Br J Med Psychol. 1988 Sep;61 ( Pt 3):245-54. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.1988.tb02786.x.


Between one-fifth and one-third of patients hospitalized on general medicine wards experience significant depressive symptoms during their hospitalization. This study employed 71 general medical in-patients and examined the relative association of illness/hospitalization characteristics, patient characteristics and environmental characteristics with in-patient medical depression. Multiple regression results indicated that in-patient medical depression was related to pre-hospitalization depression and social functioning, patient perception of physician supportiveness and patient perception of illness-related life-disruption. None of the objective illness/hospitalization variables related to depression while in the hospital. These results are interpreted with regard to several current theories in medical psychology including a life-stress model emphasizing the ability of prior disorder to predict subsequent disorder, a social interaction model focusing on the effects of physicians' supportive behaviour on patients' emotional adjustment in the hospital, and models of illness that stress cognitive appraisal in determining illness-related mood and behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Support