National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C.,
Psychiatric and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences
Department of Pulmonary Medicine
Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C., TEHRAN-IRAN.
Background: The effect of mental status on physical conditions has been well established and it has been proven that psychosocial factors play an important role in physical diseases. There are numerous factors that may be involved in development of asthma. Emotional stress and anxiety attacks are of the factors responsible for initiation of asthmatic attacks. Materials and Methods: For evaluation of the personality traits of asthmatic patients, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test was used which had 8 clinical and 3 validity scales. It is one of the most frequently used personality tests in mental health. This study was performed on 300 asthmatic patients including 197 females and 103 males. Along with personality traits, we also evaluated demographic characteristics of patients including age, sex, level of education, marital status, and number of children. Results: Level of education, age and marital status were significantly correlated with the severity of disease (P=0.001, P=0.007 and P=0.011, respectively). Our study results showed that people with low educational level, middle-aged and married individuals were at higher risk of developing severe asthma. Correlation coefficients between clinical scales of D (depression), Hs (hypochondriasis), Hy (hysteria), Pt (psychasthenia), Pa (paranoia) and Sc (schizophrenia) and severity of asthma were rD=0.301, rHs=0.306, rHy=0.159, rPt=0.161, rPa=0.1431 and rSc=0.136, respectively. All correlations were statistically significant indicating the presence of depression, excitability and anxiety symptoms in these patients. Conclusion: Signs and symptoms of mental disorders are usually disregarded and therefore, they often remain undiagnosed. However, such conditions are potential risk factors for psychosomatic diseases like asthma. (Tanaffos 2009; 8(2): 37-41)