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MeSH Review

Sick Role

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Disease relevance of Sick Role


Psychiatry related information on Sick Role

  • It appears to be a conglomerate term to encompass chronic anxiety without panic, mild depression without despair, neurasthenia without malaise, a smattering hypochondriasis and a surfeit of illness behavior, all superimposed on passive, dependent individuals with borderline normal intelligence and exposed to profound sociocultural deprivation [5].

High impact information on Sick Role

  • To delineate those aspects of illness behavior characteristic of the Pain Clinic group, their scores were compared to those attained on the IBQ by a Family Medicine Clinic sample [6].
  • HCV-positive (n = 62) and HIV-positive (n = 76) IDUs and HCV/HIV-seronegative IDUs (n = 152) completed the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Social Provision Scale, the Locus of Control scale and the affective inhibition scale of the Illness Behavior Questionnaire [7].
  • Although dexamethasone ameliorated the mTNF-alpha-induced sensitization of corticosterone, illness behavior was unaffected [8].
  • Despite the appearance of a downhill spiral, we were unable to demonstrate an association between opioid use and any measure of illness behavior after controlling for benzodiazepine use (with the possible exception of domestic disability) [9].
  • The findings also highlighted the importance of discarding sick role behaviours associated with chronic epilepsy, after surgery [10].

Biological context of Sick Role

  • Lack of private insurance, acute SLE onset, expression of HLA-DRB1*01 (DR1) and C4A*3 alleles were associated with higher disease activity, whereas age, the number of American College of Rheumatology criteria met, disease activity, corticosteroid use and abnormal illness behaviors were consistent predictors of damage [11].

Gene context of Sick Role

  • CONCLUSION: ADHD symptoms are interpreted as having different implications for the sick role and the intervention, dependent on a child's gender and race [12].
  • Though some physical complications may be prevented by recognizing severe MVP, there is substantial risk of iatrogenic harm by attributing complex symptoms and illness behavior to mild MVP, which is probably a normal variant [13].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Sick Role


  1. Somatization and depression in fibromyalgia syndrome. Kirmayer, L.J., Robbins, J.M., Kapusta, M.A. The American journal of psychiatry. (1988) [Pubmed]
  2. Immunocytochemical localization of TNF type 1 and type 2 receptors in the rat spinal cord. Holmes, G.M., Hebert, S.L., Rogers, R.C., Hermann, G.E. Brain Res. (2004) [Pubmed]
  3. Psychological assessment in general orthopaedic practice. Gray, I.C., Main, C.J., Waddell, G. Clin. Orthop. Relat. Res. (1985) [Pubmed]
  4. The illness behavior of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease with and without endoscopic esophagitis. Tew, S., Jamieson, G.G., Pilowsky, I., Myers, J. Dis. Esophagus (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. "Nerves": a sociomedical diagnosis ... of sorts. Ludwig, A.M. American journal of psychotherapy. (1982) [Pubmed]
  6. Pain, depression, and illness behavior in a pain clinic population. Pilowsky, I., Chapman, C.R., Bonica, J.J. Pain (1977) [Pubmed]
  7. Emotional stress, psychosocial variables and coping associated with hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus infections in intravenous drug users. Grassi, L., Satriano, J., Serra, A., Biancosino, B., Zotos, S., Sighinolfi, L., Ghinelli, F. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics. (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. Murine tumor necrosis factor-alpha sensitizes plasma corticosterone activity and the manifestation of shock: modulation by histamine. Hayley, S., Kelly, O., Anisman, H. J. Neuroimmunol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  9. Psychological correlates of opioid use in patients with chronic nonmalignant pain: a preliminary test of the downhill spiral hypothesis. Ciccone, D.S., Just, N., Bandilla, E.B., Reimer, E., Ilbeigi, M.S., Wu, W. Journal of pain and symptom management. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Outcome of temporal lobectomy: expectations and the prediction of perceived success. Wilson, S.J., Saling, M.M., Lawrence, J., Bladin, P.F. Epilepsy Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. What have we learned from a 10-year experience with the LUMINA (Lupus in Minorities; Nature vs. nurture) cohort? Where are we heading? Uribe, A.G., McGwin, G., Reveille, J.D., Alarcón, G.S. Autoimmunity reviews. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Exploring help-seeking for ADHD symptoms: a mixed-methods approach. Bussing, R., Koro-Ljungberg, M.E., Gary, F., Mason, D.M., Garvan, C.W. Harvard review of psychiatry. (2005) [Pubmed]
  13. The medicalization of normal variants: the case of mitral valve prolapse. Quill, T.E., Lipkin, M., Greenland, P. Journal of general internal medicine : official journal of the Society for Research and Education in Primary Care Internal Medicine. (1988) [Pubmed]
  14. Influence of self-care education on illness behaviors and health locus of control of Mexican American women. Kennedy, C.A., DeVoe, D., Ramer-Henry, K., West-Kowalski, J. Women & health. (1999) [Pubmed]
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