Alexithymia--state or trait? One-year follow-up study of general hospital psychiatric consultation out-patients

J Psychosom Res. 1994 Oct;38(7):681-5. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(94)90020-5.


We carried out a 1-year follow-up study on 54 out of 80 general hospital psychiatric consultation out-patients. Alexithymic features were measured by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), and self-reported psychological distress with the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Men were more alexithymic and distressed than women both at the baseline and at the follow-up evaluations. The degree of alexithymia in both genders remained consistent, whereas psychological distress decreased significantly in both genders during the follow-up period. Therefore we conclude that alexithymia presents a constant trait in psychiatric consultation out-patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis*
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Age of Onset
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Sex Factors