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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2004 June;45(2):63-72

language: Italian

Major depression: use of coping strategies in the indications to psychotherapy

Munno D., Macario P.F., Tagliente S., Malfatto A.


Aim. The aim of this paper is to evaluate possible differences in using coping strategies by depressed subjects in comparison with general population. The findings of this research are related with the criteria of indications for psychodynamic psychotherapies and counseling, in order to infer the most suitable psychotherapeutic treatment.
Methods. Fifty depressed out-patients and 60 control subjects were administered the coping test (Coping Strategy Indicator, CSI), which can reckon 3 coping strategies: Problem Solving (PS), Seeking Social Support (SSS), Avoidance (Av). The data collected have been statistically processed.
Results. Depressed patients prove, in comparison with contrls, a lowering in the use of PS and an increase in the SSS and Av scores. Women use SSS more than men. In the depressed patients sample, the growing of age seems to be related with the worsening of coping flexibility.
Conclusion. The low PS score in depressed patients may suggest a weak indication for counseling whereas, because of the high SSS and Av scores, a stronger indication for supportive and expressive-supportive psychodynamic psychotherapy would be stated. Women, for the high SSS score, would particularly fit supportive therapies while, the psychotherapies of the eldest depressed patients, who proved less flexible in behaviour, might face harder difficulties.

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