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Title: Distinctive characteristics of neurasthenia : a comparative study with anxiety and depressive disorders
Author: Ng, Kee-on
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 2989
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1999
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To investigate the distinctive characteristics of neurasthenia and its relationship with anxiety and depression, the present study employed a clinical sample comprising three diagnostic groups: “pure neurasthenia”, depression, and anxiety disorders. Several established psychometric scales were compiled and administered to the participants. These included BAI, BDI, DASS, PSWQ and the locally developed neurasthenia scale (NS). Scores on the psychometric scales revealed a significant group difference between the “pure neurasthenics” and the anxiety and depression controls. In comparison with the depression and anxiety groups, the neurasthenics consistently obtained a significantly lower score on all of the self-report mood measures for stress, anxiety and depression. Although the neurasthenics also scored significantly lower on the “Irritability and Nervousness” sub-scale of the NS, no reliable group difference was found on the other three sub-scales measuring “Fatigue and Sleep Difficulty”, “Musculoskeletal Aches and Pain”, and the non-specific “Dysfunctional Symptoms”. The results could be taken to infer neurasthenia as a milder form o f distressed condition, characterised by a relative absence of the affective component. Furthermore, multiple regression analysis revealed that the total NS score was best predicted by the measure of stress, while depression and anxiety measures only accounted for a minor proportion of the variance. Similar finding emerged in the discriminant function analysis in which the measure of stress was the best contributor for group-differentiation, while the depression and anxiety measures failed to provide significant impact. Overall, these findings suggested that neurasthenia may be more closely affiliated with the construct of stress, and did not support the proposition of its being a variant of anxiety and depression. Conceptual and taxonomic implications of neurasthenia as a clinical construct were discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology