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Adjustment disorders


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Adjustment disorders, introduction, history, diagnostic criteria, validity, reliability, DSM 5, ICD 10, Differential diagnosis, pharmacological management, psychological management

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Adjustment disorders

  1. 1. Adjustment Disorders A brief overview -Presenter: Dr. Utkarsh Modi
  2. 2. Overview • Introduction • Evolution of the concept • Etiology • Epidemiology • Diagnostic guidelines • Reliability • Validity • Cultural perspective • Clinical presentation • Co-morbidities • Course and prognosis • Differential diagnosis • Management • Challenges/Issues • Future prospect
  3. 3. Introduction • Adjustment disorders are conceived of as developing in response to a variety of causal stressful events, the symptoms representing an adaptation to these stressors or to their continuing effects. • Strays from the general phenomenological approach [Etiological model] • Seen as far less stigmatizing Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  4. 4. • Adjustment disorders have been seen as problematic for a number of reasons: • no criteria to qualify or quantify the stressor for an adjustment disorder in anyway • the symptom complex that develops has been criticized as lacking specificity. • it is difficult in clinical practice to link an event to the development of a symptom complex • The temporal course between the stressor and the development of symptoms lacks rigorous scientific evidence • Why some individuals develop symptoms in response to a stressful event while others do not. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  5. 5. Evolution of the concept • Avicenna 11th century • The DSM-I (1952) : Transient situational personality disorder • DSM II : Transient situational disorder • DSM III : “Adjustment disorder” III R : specified that symptoms of an adjustment disorder could not exceed 6 months. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  6. 6. • The DSM-IV : • The subtypes of mixed emotional features, work inhibition, withdrawal, and physical complaints were eliminated. • The stressor was allowed to persist for an indefinite period of time. • A descriptor of chronicity was specified, whereby symptoms persisting for greater than 6 months were deemed chronic. DSM IV-TR
  7. 7. • In DSM-5, • Now included in the Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders section of the DSM-5. • No change in the diagnostic guidelines DSM 5
  8. 8. Epidemiology • Principal diagnosis in OPD : 5% - 20% • According to DSM-5, estimates approach 50% in hospital psychiatric consultation settings. • Women are more likely to be diagnosed with AD compared to men. • Outcome of Depression International Network (ODIN) study (18), which found a prevalence of only 1% for adjustment disorder in five European countries Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E DSM 5
  9. 9. Prevalence of Adjustment Disorder Adjustment Disorder: A Review of Diagnostic Pitfalls, Shay Gur MD, Haggai Hermesh MD, Neil Laufer MD, Michal Gogol BA and Ruth Gross-Isseroff DSc
  10. 10. • Studies have also found a higher rate of adjustment disorder among persons exhibiting suicidal behavior, particularly adolescents and young adults. • Studies of soldiers psychiatrically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan over a 3-year period found that adjustment disorder was the most common diagnosis made in 37 percent of evacuees. • Adjustment disorder has been reported to be almost three times as common as major depression (13.7 vs. 5.1%) in acutely ill medical in- patients Adjustment disorders: the state of the art Patricia Casey, Susan Bailey
  11. 11. Etiology • Many authors in the field of adjustment disorders criticize the idea of linking a single stressor to a symptom complex. • The stressor The individual Interaction Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E Adjustment disorders: the state of the art
  12. 12. Psychological vulnerability1) • A person’s “ego strength” determines his or her vulnerability to stressors. • Studies of children have revealed a consistent pattern of individual characteristics associated with successful adaptation. • Early experience with diminished control may foster a cognitive style characterized by an increased probability of interpreting or processing subsequent events as out of one’s control
  13. 13. 2) Theory of associative network formation following a significant stressful experience. Stimulus information about the stressor Information about cognitive, behavioral, and physiological reactions to the stressor Meaning elements representing basic assumptions and their violation Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  14. 14. 3) Contemporary psychodynamic theory • Focuses on the context in which an event occurs and how this leads to symptom formation. • A stressor leads to the generation of an affective experience. • Which in turn leads to the desire for understanding of this affect. • If others fail to attune to this affect but rather criticize, reject, or neglect the individual, then he or she is left to cope on his or her own, leading to symptom formation. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  15. 15. Realization that a stressful event has occurred Suppression of this information Alternating intrusion of the event and attempts at suppressing it and a working through of the information integration of the material into one’s cognitive schema 4) Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  16. 16. • Postulates that changes following acute stressful experiences may lead to long-term risk factors for the future capacity to cope with stress. • “Allostatic load” of neurochemical networks may relate to individual resilience 5) Biological theorists Highest measure Lowest quartile HPA axis DHEA CRH Neuropeptide Y Locus ceruleus: norepinephrine and dopamine 5-HT1A receptor and BZD receptor function Estrogen activity Testosterone Galanin
  17. 17. Diagnostic Criteria • DSM 5 • ICD 10
  18. 18. DSM 5
  19. 19. ICD 10 • Stressor: • significant life change or to the consequences of a stressful life event (including the presence or possibility of serious physical illness) • may have affected the integrity of an individual's social network or wider system of social supports • may involve only the individual or also his or her group or community. • Individual predisposition or vulnerability plays a role. • The manifestations vary.
  20. 20. • The onset is usually within 1 month, duration of symptoms does not usually exceed 6 months, except in the case of prolonged depressive reaction. • Diagnosis depends on a careful evaluation of the relationship between: (a)form, content, and severity of symptoms; (b)previous history and personality; and (c)stressful event, situation, or life crisis. • Normal bereavement reactions by code from Chapter XXI of ICD-10 such as Z63.4 (disappearance or death of family member) or Z73.3 (stress not elsewhere classified)
  21. 21. • ICD-10 points to "usually interfering with social functioning and performance" and "some degree of disability in the performance of daily routines" whereas • DSM-IV/5 points to "marked distress that is in excess of what would be expected given the nature of the stressor by significant impairment in social or occupational functioning“ • Difference of onset duration.
  22. 22. Reliability • One study showed an interrater agreement for adjustment disorders to be 0.05 (p = not significant) in a survey of psychiatrists and psychologists using 27 child and adolescent case histories. The results of the UK–World Health Organization (UK-WHO) study of reliability of the ICD-9 categories in children and adolescents were consistent with this. • The difficulties in differentiating between AD and MDD are underscored in a study of Malt and colleagues. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  23. 23. Validity • European Outcome of Depression International Network (ODIN) research failed to demonstrate content validity. • Another study to assess the predictive validity of the diagnosis revealed that 79% percent of adults in the study were well at 5-year follow-up. The diagnosis was not as predictive for adolescents with 57 percent well at 5 years • As per the findings of a recent study, patients with adjustment disorders had higher mental quality-of-life scores than patients with major depressive disorder but lower than patients without mental disorder. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  24. 24. • Those with adjustment disorder had shorter duration of hospitalizations, more presented suicidality, fewer psychiatric readmissions, and re-hospitalization days 2 years after discharge • Diagnostic stability of Adjustment disorder – A retrospective two year follow up, done in our setup, highlighted the importance of the need of adjustment disorder to remain a separate entity. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  25. 25. Cultural perspectives • It is important to consider diverse idioms of distress • This parallels the lay concept of a “nervous breakdown” within a particular cultural setting. In this sense, the adjustment disorders share features with other culture-bound syndromes such as susto, koro, and Arctic hysteria. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  26. 26. • The particular cultural variety of adjustment disorder will be affected by (1) the nature, intensity, and meaning of the stressor in question; (2) the nature of the modal personality configuration of the people involved, which includes style and/or rules about behavior and emotional expression; (3) idiosyncratic features of the self in question; (4) the meaning that adjustment disorder has in the culture. • Modern medical culture often uses adjustment disorder as a means of simultaneously destigmatizing and legitimatizing psychic distress. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  27. 27. • A 46-year-old pediatric nurse receives a negative evaluation at work • Development of a back injury and one of her sons being diagnosed with bipolar disorder had impaired her ability to perform adequately. • After the evaluation she became unable to get out of bed and often called in sick. Her mood was irritable and depressed, and she was unable to concentrate or make decisions either at work or home, was found crying by her children. • Her therapist indicated that she felt that the patient was suffering from major depression. • The therapist agreed to use the DSM-IV-TR diagnosis for adjustment disorder in her clinical notes and for billing purposes and that depression would provide further evidence that she is unfit for work. Case vignette Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  28. 28. Clinical presentation • The premise of an adjustment disorder is the psychological response to an identifiable stressor that results in the development of clinically significant emotional or behavioral symptoms within 3 months time. • The challenge for the clinician in these situations is to differentiate a reasonable and expected response to psychosocial stressors. • Adjustment disorders may occur in any age group. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  29. 29. • Common symptoms of adjustment disorders identified in a large study of adjustment disorder included • depressed mood, • low self esteem, • suicidal behavior, • increased motor activity, • hypervigilance, impulsivity, and substance use. • There is no impairment of emotional modulation, and patients may find joy in thoughts of revenge.
  30. 30. • Additional symptoms may include feelings of helplessness, self- blame, rejection of help, suicidal ideation, dysphoria, aggression, downheartedness, seeming melancholic depression, unspecific somatic complaints, loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, pain, phobic symptoms in respect to the place or to persons related to the event, and reduced drive.
  31. 31. Co-morbidities • Few research studies have examined the disorders that are comorbid with AD. • About 70 percent of patients with adjustment disorders had at least one additional Axis I diagnosis. • Personality disorder was commonly co-morbid (15%) with adjustment disorder (Strain et al., 1998). • Distinguishing between adjustment disorder and depressive episode in clinical practice: The role of personality disorder Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  32. 32. • Suicidality: • Thirty percent of AD patients have suicidal thoughts, 58% of suicide attempters have AD, and 9–19% of those completing suicide have this disorder. • Several studies have reported a significant association of adjustment disorders with suicidal ideation. • In another study in an urban hospital setting, 56 percent of all admissions for suicidal behavior were classified as having transient situational disorders using the DSM-II criteria. Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9E
  33. 33. Differential diagnoses • Sub-syndromal symptoms coupled with an identified psychosocial stressor distinguish adjustment disorder from other Axis I disorders in the DSM-IV-TR. • Depressive disorders: • Severity of symptoms and the degree of functional impairment. [Sub- syndromal] • Demographic comparisons failed to show any consistent differences, except for younger age for AD. • “disorder not otherwise specified” only in the absence of a preceding stressor. The presence of a stressor warrants the diagnosis of AD. Change to the appropriate NOS category after 6 months.
  34. 34. • PTSD and Acute Stress Reaction: • The nature of the stressor and the accompanying constellation of affective and autonomic symptoms have been far better defined and characterized for both stress disorders. • There are both timing and symptom profile considerations. • With regard to symptom profiles, an adjustment disorder may be diagnosed following a traumatic event when an individual exhibits symptoms of either acute stress disorder or PTSD that do not meet or exceed the diagnostic threshold for either disorder.
  35. 35. • Personality disorders: • Lifetime history of personality functioning • In the presence of a personality disorder, if the symptom criteria for an adjustment disorder are met, and the stress-related disturbance exceeds what may be attributable to maladaptive personality disorder symptoms (i.e.. Criterion C is met), then the diagnosis of an adjustment disorder should be made. DSM 5
  36. 36. DSM 5
  37. 37. Course and Prognosis • The symptoms therefore have two prognostic courses: Either they resolve or progress to amore serious illness. • A 5-year follow-up study at the University of Iowa showed a recovery rate of 71 percent in adults versus 44 percent in adolescents. • While most of the adults developed major depressive disorder and alcohol abuse, the adolescents developed a wider range of major psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder, drug abuse, and major depressive disorder.
  38. 38. • In 1978, Looney said that AD was found to be less severe and disabling than other major psychiatric disorders in terms of chronicity, length of hospitalization, and disposition. • In a Danish survey the role of psychotropic drugs seems to be of negative impact on the outcome of the occupational rehabilitation of patients with stress-related adjustment disorders
  39. 39. • A 16-year-old high school senior experienced rejection in his first serious relationship. • Dysphoric mood accompanied by anxiety and psychomotor agitation. • He had received counseling in junior-high school when his parents divorced and he began using alcohol and marijuana. • A month after the breakup, he began to tell his parents that life was no longer worth living without his former girlfriend. • Two months later his parents came home from work and found him hanging in the garage with a note stating he could not go on alone. Case vignette
  40. 40. Assessment • Important to collect clinically relevant information through interview and collateral informant reports. • Adjustment Disorder module of the Mini- International Neuropsychiatric Interview (Sheehan et al., 1998) • Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (Wing et al., 1990) • Adjustment Disorder module of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (First et al., 1994)
  41. 41. • Development and validation of the Diagnostic Interview Adjustment Disorder (DIAD) L. R. Cornelius, S. Brouwer, M. R. De Boer, J. W. Groothoff & J. J. L. Vanderklink
  42. 42. Management • Because it is conceptualized as a transitory diagnosis, brief therapies may be most appropriate. • There is no single treatment intervention approach for the heterogeneous clinical manifestation of the disorder. • The primary goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms and the achievement of a level of adaptive functioning that is comparable to, or in some situations better than, the level of premorbid functioning.
  43. 43. • Supportive psychological approaches and cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic interventions. • Relaxation techniques can reduce symptoms of anxiety. • In persons who engage in deliberate self-harm, assistance in finding alternative responses that do not involve self-destruction may be of benefit and to date dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has the best evidence base. • Practical measures may be useful to assist the person in managing the stressful situation. Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment Mauro Giovanni Carta, Matteo Balestrieri, Andrea Murru1 and Maria Carolina Hardoy
  44. 44. • Ego enhancing therapy was found to be useful during periods of transition in older patients. This approach promotes the coping strategy and the and helps the patient acknowledge the stressors. [Frankel] • “Mirror therapy”, a therapy including psychocorporeal, cognitive, and neurolinguistics components, was effective in patients with adjustment disorder secondary to myocardial infarction • Other studies have demonstrated efficacy for Kava-Kava and Ginkgo Biloba. Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment Mauro Giovanni Carta, Matteo Balestrieri, Andrea Murru1 and Maria Carolina Hardoy
  45. 45. • The basic pharmacological management of adjustment disorder consists of symptomatic treatment of insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks. • Agents commonly used : benzodiazepines and antidepressants. • Nguyen [80] in 2006 explored the differences in treating Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety with etifoxine (a nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytic drug) and lorazepam. • A pilot study of cancer patients with anxious and depressed mood found trazodone superior to a benzodiazepine Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment Mauro Giovanni Carta, Matteo Balestrieri, Andrea Murru1 and Maria Carolina Hardoy
  46. 46. • It is a shared opinion that currently, psychotherapy remains the treatment of choice for adjustment disorders. • Maina et al. [68] in 1999 effectiveness of brief dynamic psychotherapy and brief supportive psychotherapy in the treatment of minor depressive episodes. • Interpersonal psychotherapy : include psychoeducation about the patient's role, a here and now frame work, formulation of the problems from an interpersonal perspective, exploration of options for changing dysfunctional behavior pattern Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment Mauro Giovanni Carta, Matteo Balestrieri, Andrea Murru1 and Maria Carolina Hardoy
  47. 47. • Cochrane review for Interventions to facilitate return to work in adults with adjustment disorders revealed • Moderate-quality evidence that CBT did not significantly reduce time until partial RTW and low-quality evidence that it did not significantly reduce time to full RTW compared with no treatment. • Moderate-quality evidence showed that PST significantly enhanced partial RTW at one-year follow-up compared to non-guideline based care but did not significantly enhance time to full RTW at one-year follow-up. • Limitation of small number of studies included in the meta-analyses and the small number of participants, which lowered the power of the analyses.
  48. 48. • The only Randomized Controlled Trial found in literature about efficacy of Psychotherapy in AD was the study of Van der Klink ad coll. They concluded that the experimental intervention for adjustment disorders was successful in shortening sick leave duration, mainly by decreasing long term problems. Based on Dutch guidelines. Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment Mauro Giovanni Carta, Matteo Balestrieri, Andrea Murru1 and Maria Carolina Hardoy
  49. 49. Dutch Guidelines for Occupational Health physicians and GPs Dutch practice guidelines for managing adjustment disorders in occupational and primary health care by van der Klink JJL, van Dijk FJH
  50. 50. Dutch practice guidelines for managing adjustment disorders in occupational and primary health care by van der Klink JJL, van Dijk FJH
  51. 51. Dutch practice guidelines for managing adjustment disorders in occupational and primary health care by van der Klink JJL, van Dijk FJH
  52. 52. Challenges/Issues • Criticized as “wastebasket” or “afterthought” diagnosis. • As another manifestation of the increased medicalization of life problems as well as the hegemony of biological models in psychiatry at the expense of social, psychological, cultural, and spiritual conceptualizations and responses to illness. • Failure of diagnosis to present an essential relationship of an external stressor and internal diathesis. • Use of AD for presentations that fail to meet the criteria of other Axis I diagnoses, particularly major or minor depressions. • Main utility was to serve as a “justification” for diagnosis-based reimbursement operating in the healthcare system of the US.
  53. 53. • Stressor criteria : • The DSM-IV-TR states only that the stressor is identifiable but makes no mention as to what would qualify as a stressor. • Duration criteria: • The diagnosis of adjustment disorder specifies that the symptoms do not persist for more than 6 months once the stressor—or its consequences—have terminated. It is extremely difficult for a clinician to gauge when a stressor is no longer a stressor.
  54. 54. • Anti-theoretical framework the DSM and ICD classifications • Which were designed conceptually to encourage psychiatric diagnoses to be derived on phenomenological grounds with an avowed dismissal of pathogenesis or etiology as diagnostic imperatives. • The application of the diagnosis based not just on objective criteria but on attempts to find a treatment opens up a deontological problem, and points out the limits of resolution in detecting psychiatric morbidity Casey P: Adult adjustment disorder: a review of its current
  55. 55. Future direction • Creating an interactive model that takes into account both stress and resiliency factors that are responsive to individual and cultural differences remains challenging. • Obstacles are linked to the inadequate operationalization of adjustment disorders, we need to adjust the adjustment disorder category to overcome the present shortcomings. • Although has been widely criticized diagnosis with vague criteria and questionable reliability/validity, it remains as one of the most commonly diagnosed disorder. It is time to adjust the adjustment disorder category Harald Baumeister and Katharina Kufner
  56. 56. Summary • Definition: Cluster of symptoms which are in excess of the normal reaction to a stressor. Types or stressors and subtypes of AD. • Etiological model • Often used to protect patients for medical, life and disability insurances. • Evolution from DSM I to DSM 5, starting off with WW II. • A common diagnosis in consultation liaison setting and OPD as well. Although no large epidemiological study supporting the figures due to poor assessment tools.
  57. 57. • Various etiological models • Diagnostic guidelines – DSM 5 and ICD 10 and the differences. • Doubts regarding validity and reliability of the diagnosis with insufficient and varying data to support either claims. • Cultural perspectives • Clinical presentation/Differential diagnoses to be considered • Association with suicidality, personality disorders and substance use. • Variable course, but mainly seen as a self limiting disorder. • Management – Psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and practical changes. Dutch guidelines for GPs and occupational therapists. • Challenges and issues with the diagnosis
  58. 58. References • Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry • Adjustment disorders: the state of the art: Patricia Casey, Susan Bailey • Adjustment Disorder: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment: Mauro Giovanni Carta, Matteo Balestrieri, Andrea Murru and Maria Carolina Hardoy • Interventions to facilitate return to work in adults with adjustment disorders (Review) Arends I, Bruinvels DJ, Rebergen DS, Nieuwenhuijsen K, Madan I Neumeyer-Gromen A, Bültmann U, Verbeek JH • Development and validation of the Diagnostic Interview Adjustment Disorder (DIAD) L. R. Cornelius, S. Brouwer, M. R. De Boer, J. W. Groothoff & j. J. L. Vanderklink
  59. 59. • Adjustment Disorder: A Review of Diagnostic Pitfalls: Shay Gur MD, Haggai Hermesh MD, Neil Laufer MD, Michal Gogol BA and Ruth Gross-Isseroff DSc • It is too early for adjusting the adjustment disorder category Jonathan Laugharne, Gillian van der Watt and Aleksandar Janca • It is time to adjust the adjustment disorder category: Harald Baumeister and Katharina Kufner • Adjustment disorder: implications for ICD-11 and DSM-5{ Patricia Casey and Anne Doherty • Dutch practice guidelines for managing adjustment disorders in occupational and primary health care by van der Klink JJL, van Dijk FJH