Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The effect of social adversity on the fatigue syndrome, psychiatric disorders and physical recovery, following glandular fever

  • W. D. A. Bruce-Jones (a1), P. D. White (a1), J. M. Thomas (a1) and A. W. Clare (a1)

Two hundred and fifty patients attending primary care with glandular fever or an upper respiratory tract infection were studied prospectively up to 6 months after onset. Of these patients 228 were interviewed with the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule and the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, giving Research Diagnostic Criteria for psychiatric disorders. The experience of severe social adversity (provoking agents) had a significant association with psychiatric disorder at 2 months (odds ratio = 5·3) and 6 months (odds ratio = 5·8) after onset of infection. This association was especially significant for depressive illness (odds ratio = 9·1 at 2 months and 11·9 at 6 months). In contrast, social adversity had little association with the development of the post-infectious fatigue syndrome, or delayed physical recovery. Social adversity may be an important maintaining factor for psychiatric disorders, especially depressive illness, following acute infections.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Peter D. White, Department of Psychological Medicine, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. R. Bock & J. Whelan (1993). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Ciba Foundation Symposium 173. John Wiley & Sons: Chichester.

R. H. Bonneau , J. F. Sheridan , N. G. Feng & R. Glaser (1991). Stress-induced suppression of herpes simplex virus (HSV)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte and natural killer cell activity and enhancement of acute pathogenesis following local HSV infection. Brain, Behavior and Immunology 5, 170192.

S. Cohen , D. A. J. Tyrrell & A. P. Smith (1991). Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold. New England Journal of Medicine 325, 606612.

S. Cohen & G. M. Williamson (1991). Stress and infectious disease in humans. Psychological Bulletin 109, 524.

R. J. Dolan , S. P. Calloway , P. Fonagy , F. V. A. De Souza & A. Wakeling (1985). Life events, depression and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function. British Journal of Psychiatry 147, 429433.

J. Endicott & R. L. Spitzer (1978). A diagnostic interview: the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry 35, 773782.

P. D. Evans & N. Edgerton (1991). Life-events and mood as predictors of the common cold. British Journal of Medical Psychology 64, 3544.

P. D. Evans , M. K. Pitts & K. Smith (1988). Minor infection, minor life events and the four day desirability dip. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 32, 533539.

R. Glaser , J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser , C. E. Speicher & J. E. Holliday (1985). Stress, loneliness, and changes in herpesvirus latency. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 8, 249260.

R. Glaser , G. R. Pearson , J. F. Jones , J. Hillhouse , S. Kennedy , H. Y. Mao & J. K. Kiecolt Glaser (1991). Stress-related activation of Epstein-Barr virus. Brain, Behavior and Immunology 5, 219232.

D. Goldmeier , A. Johnson , D. Jeffries , G. D. Walker , G. Underhill , G. Robinson & H. Ribbans (1986). Psychological aspects of recurrences of genital herpes. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 30, 601608.

J. B. Imboden , A. Canter & L. E. Cluff (1961). Convalescence from influenza: A study of the psychological and clinical determinants. Archives of Internal Medicine 108, 393399.

S. V. Kasl , A. S. Evans & J. G. Niederman (1979). Psychosocial risk factors in the development of infectious mononucleosis. Psychosomatic Medicine 41, 445466.

E. K. Kemeny , F. Cohen , L. S. Zegans & M. A. Conant (1989). Psychological and immunological predictors of genital herpes recurrence. Psychosomatic Medicine 51, 195208.

D. J. Longo & G. A. Clum (1989). Psychosocial factors affecting genital herpes recurrences: linear vs mediating models. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 33, 161166.

E. S. Paykel , J. K. Myers , M. N. Dienelt , G. L. Klerman , J. J. Lindenthal & M. P. Pepper (1969). Life events and depression: a controlled study. Archives of General Psychiatry 21, 753760.

S. Perry , B. Fishman , L. Jacobsberg & A. Frances (1992). Relationships over 1 year between lymphocyte subsets and psychosocial variables among adults with infection by human immunodeficiency virus. Archives of General Psychiatry 49, 396401.

R. Powell , R. Dolan & S. Wessely (1990). Attributions and self esteem in depression and chronic fatigue syndromes. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 34, 665673.

P. S. Silver , S. M. Auerbach , N. Vishniavsky & L. G. Kaplowitz (1986). Psychological factors in recurrent genital herpes infection: stress, coping style, social support, emotional dysfunction, and symptom recurrence. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 30, 163171.

R. L. Spitzer , J. Endicott & E. Robins (1978). Research Diagnostic Criteria: Rationale and reliability. Archives of General Psychiatry 35, 773782.

R. Totman , J. Kiff , S. E. Reed & J. W. Craig (1980). Predicting experimental colds in volunteers from different measures of life stress. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 24, 155163.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 98 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.