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  • Author: Gabriela Popa x
  • Clinical Medicine, other x
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Increased Cortisol Levels in Depression: A Comparative Study Evaluating the Correlation of Hypercortisolemia with Prosocial Coping Mechanisms


Objective: The aim of this paper was to evaluate if depressed patients have an increased level of morning serum cortisol compared to healthy persons and to assess the relation between high levels of cortisol and prosocial coping mechanisms, in the context of Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder. Methods: Morning serum cortisol level was measured in 15 depressed patients hospitalized in First Clinic of Psychiatry Tirgu Mures and in 15 healthy controls. We have analyzed 3 behavioral coping strategies with The Strategic Approach of Coping Scale (SACS): social joining (SJ), seeking social support (SSS) and cautious action (CA). Results: 30 participants were included, the mean value of the cortisol for females was Mcort_female= 16.38 μg/dl and for males Mcort_male= 16.31 μg/dl. Independent sample t test showed that the cortisol level in depressed group was higher than the cortisol level in the control group: t = 2.394, p < 0.05 (0.024). In the MDD group the Spearman correlation between the level of serum cortisol and prosocial coping strategies was: rcortisol-SJ= -0.519; rcortisol-SSS= -0.107; rcortisol-CA= -0.382. Conclusions: Although the studied sample patient was small, we can conclude that the patients with Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder have an increased level of morning serum cortisol compared to healthy persons. In these patients there is an inverse correlation between the increased levels of morning cortisol and the frequency of use of the effective prosocial coping strategies, particularly the social joining type.

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Burnout syndrome in the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit


Background and aims. This study aims to identify the extent to which Burnout syndrome is present among medical staff in the anaesthesia and intensive care units in Romania and if there are significant differences dependant on age or sex.

Methods. Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), structured in three dimensions: Emotional Exhaustion – 9 items (EE), Depersonalization – 6 items (D) and Reduction of personal achievement – 10 items (RPA), was used for the evaluation of Burnout Syndrome in 275 medical staff in anaesthesia and intensive care physician and nurses from departments in Romania.

Results. Burnout syndrome among medical staff with MBI had a total score of 68 and average scores for all syndrome categories. There were no statistically significant differences dependant on age and sex (p < 0.05, chi-squared test). The logistic regression has highlighted three elements that are risk factors, which belonged to the psycho-emotional sphere, communication abilities and the degree of organization and professional planning (item – I feel at the end of my rope, item – I do not communicate easily with people regardless of their social status and character, and item – I have professional disillusion). The risk factor with the most reliable range was the item “I feel at the end of my rope”.

Conclusion. The level of Burnout syndrome is medium regardless of sex or age category. Possibly, the concern of the ICU medical staff for the psycho-emotional life is not efficient, as well as for identifying/ developing communication abilities. The association between risk factors for burnout syndrome and psycho-emotional life development require further research.

Open access