Social discomfort and depression in a sample of adults with leg amputations.
We examined the relationship between social discomfort and depression in a sample of 89 adults with leg amputations at two outpatient clinics. It was hypothesized that individuals who reported being uncomfortable with social contacts involving acknowledgement of their amputation or prosthesis were more prone to depression than other patients. A set of questions addressing different aspects of social discomfort demonstrated internal consistency and were used as a scale. Social discomfort was significantly correlated with scores on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale depression scale (r = .41). Multiple regression analysis showed that social discomfort was a significant independent predictor of depression, after holding constant the effects of age, gender, social support, time since amputation, reason for amputation, and perceived health. These data indicate that health care professionals should view the expression of social discomfort by amputee patients as a possible "marker" for depression. Further studies are planned to develop and validate an expanded social discomfort scale.
Rybarczyk, BD; Nyenhuis, DL; Nicholas, JJ; Schulz, R; Alioto, RJ; Blair, C
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