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Southern Medical Journal:
Original Articles

Anxiety and Depression in Hospitalized Patients in Resistant Organism Isolation

Catalano, Glenn MD; Houston, Sally H. MD; Catalano, Maria C. DO; Butera, Adam S. MD; Jennings, Shannon M. MD, PhD; Hakala, Sheryl M. MD; Burrows, Stephanie L. MD; Hickey, Mark G. BS, BA; Duss, Charles V. BS; Skelton, David N. BS; Laliotis, Georgia J. MD

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Background: Previous studies have reported an increase in psychiatric symptoms in seriously ill patients who were placed in resistant organism isolation. We conducted this study to assess whether there is an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients who are not critically ill and are placed in isolation.

Methods: Patients hospitalized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species infections were evaluated with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale at baseline and again during hospitalization. The results were then compared with the results of patients who were hospitalized for infectious diseases that did not require isolation.

Results: Patients in isolation had significantly higher scores on both the anxiety and depression scales at the time of follow-up than did patients who were not isolated. There was no significant difference between the scores of the two groups before isolation.

Conclusion: The results of this preliminary study suggest that placement in resistant organism isolation may increase hospitalized patients’ levels of anxiety and depression.

© 2003 Southern Medical Association