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Psychological correlates of length of hospitalization and rehospitalization in patients with acute, severe asthma

  • Design
  • Medicine


This study was designed to examine the relationship between emitions, attitudes and personality traits, and length of hospitalization and incidence of rehospitalization in patients with acute, severe asthma. For a group of 40 Dutch hospitalized asthma patients, length of hospitalization was significantly correlated with a personality dimension reflecting anxiety as a personality trait, feelings of stigma because of being an asthma patient, neuroticism, and hostility. No associations were found between length of hospitalization and the severity or duration of the disease. It was further found that patients who were rehospitalized within 6 months after their first admission were significantly more anxious, less optimistic, and felt more stigmatized than patients who were not rehospitalized. These findings point to the importance of the relationship between patterns of coping with asthma and medical outcome. Suggestions for interventions regarding maladaptive patterns of adjustment to asthma are formulated. These suggestions not only focus on interventions at the level of the individual patient, but also aim at the physician, and societal norms and values concerning asthma.

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