Adjustment disorders are a common psychiatric disorder in primary care and mental health units, with point prevalence estimates ranging from 0.9% to 2.3%. These disorders have been recently defined as a stress response syndrome in the fifth edition of the DSM, causing emotional and social difficulties and also a large economic burden on society.
The aim of this descriptional study was to analyse the socio-demographic characteristics and treatment of the patients diagnosed with adjustment disorders in the first visit in a mental health unit.
The study sample consisted of 128 patients admitted for a psychiatric consultation in a mental health unit in Alicante (Spain) from their primary care physician, between February and July 2016. Variables of gender, age, current employment status, diagnosis and treatment were measured. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS software.
The data from 31 patients who were diagnosed with adjustment disorders meant a 24% of the sample. The median age was 47 years old in the adjustment disorders group. Among those with adjustment disorders, 61% were women, and 52% of them were unemployed. Almost 60% of them had at least one pychotropic prescription and only 22% were derived to psychology.
Adjustment disorders are considered as an intermediate category between no mental disorder and affective disorders. Most authors recommend to start with a psychotherapeutic intervention. Despite starting with medication has not proved effectiveness in the studies, most of the patients had at least one psychotropic prescription before the psychiatric evaluation.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.