The Connection between alexithymia and somatic morbidity in a population of combat veterans with chronic PTSD

Kušević, Zorana and Čivljak, Marta and Vukušić Rukavina, Tea and Babić, Goran and Lončar, Mladen and Vuksan Ćusa, Bjanka and Gregurek, Rudolf (2013) The Connection between alexithymia and somatic morbidity in a population of combat veterans with chronic PTSD. Acta Informatica Medica, 21 (1). pp. 7-11. ISSN 0353-8109

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PURPOSE: To investigate the connection between alexithymia and somatic illness, or, somatization, in veterans suffering from chronic combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. ----- METHODS: Croatian combat veterans (N=127) were studied at the Department of Psychology, Zagreb Clinical Hospital Center. The diagnosis of PTSD was confirmed and verified according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). A version of the Mississippi Scale for Combat Related PTSD (M-PTSD) standardized for the Croatian population was used to assess the severity of PTSD. In addition to the clinical interview, the existence of alexithymia was confirmed by the score on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TA S-20). ----- RESULTS: A statistically significant association was found between the total number of diagnosed physical illnesses and the scores on three subscales of an alexithymia questionnaire, the TA S-20, with a 1% risk (p<0.01, 0.487; 0.450; 0.335). Regression analysis confirmed the most statistically significant predictive value of the first item of the TA S-20, which refers to difficulty in identifying feelings (=0.408, p=0.019). The total score on the M-PTSD scale correlated significantly to the subscales for alexithymia. There was a statistically significant negative correlation of the total score on the M-PTSD scale with social support. ----- CONCLUSION: The total scores obtained in this study, particularly those related to alexithymia, indicate the importance of this construct in the etiopathogenesis of somatic morbidity in the study population and confirm that as in other countries the TA S-20 is a useful instrument in Croatia for the assessment of this phenomenon.

Item Type: Article
Departments: Katedra za medicinsku sociologiju i ekonomiku zdravstva
Katedra za psihijatriju i psihološku medicinu
Depositing User: Marijan Šember
Status: Published
Kušević, ZoranaUNSPECIFIED
Vukušić Rukavina, TeaUNSPECIFIED
Vuksan Ćusa, BjankaUNSPECIFIED
Gregurek, RudolfUNSPECIFIED
Date: March 2013
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2013 12:30
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 10:53
Subjects: /
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