Psychometry and Pescatori projective test in coloproctological patients

Authors Ana Célia Caetano, Dinis Oliveira, Zaida Gomes, Edgar Mesquita, Carla Rolanda.


Background Psychological assessment is not commonly performed nor easily accepted by coloproctological patients. Our aim was to evaluate the psychological component of coloproctological disorders using uncommon tools.

Methods The 21-Item Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale and the Pescatori projective test were applied to coloproctological outpatients of the Gastroenterology Department of our hospital as well as to healthy volunteers.

Results Seventy patients (median age 47 years, 22 male) divided in 4 groups (functional constipation, constipated irritable bowel syndrome, benign anorectal disease and perianal Crohn's disease) and 52 healthy volunteers (age 45 years, 18 male) completed the tests. Proctological patients showed higher scores of depression (P<0.001), anxiety (P<0.001), and stress (P<0.001) compared to healthy participants. Compared to the control group, patients with functional constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and perianal Crohn's disease maintained the highest scores in all subscales (P<0.05), while patients with benign anorectal disease only had higher anxiety and stress (P<0.001) scores. The patients' also showed lower scores in the Pescatori  projective test (P=0.012). A weak association between the projective test and the depression subscale was found (P=0.05).

Conclusion Proctological patients had higher scores of depression, anxiety and stress and lower scores in the Pescatori projective test compared to healthy controls.

Keywords Coloproctological disorders, psychometry, anxiety, stress and depression scales, projective test

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (4): 433-437

Original Articles