Chronic Illness and Mood Status among Chronically Ill Patients

Hanem F. Mohamed, Khairyah Al Ali, Reem Al Mutairi, Samia Al Enizy, Fawziah Al Enizy


Introduction: Research has proven that chronic illnesses are associated with mood disturbance.  Chronic illnesses are complex conditions that last for lifetime and cannot be cured completely.  Chronic illnesses are known to reduce patients’ ability and energy to live well, exercise, live a normal life or cope with their illnesses.  In addition, signs and symptoms of mood disturbances often overlooked.  This adds a burden on the individual patient, health care providers and the community.  With the increasing number of patients with chronic illnesses, understanding the relationship between chronic illness and mood status is vital to improve community health.  The objective of this study was to identify the association between chronic illness and mood status among Saudi chronically ill patients.

Methodology: The study used a descriptive cross-sectional design to answer the following questions: (1) Is there a relationship between chronic illness and mood status among chronically ill patients? (2) What is the relationship between the number of chronic illness and mood status? (3) What is the relationship between the type of chronic illnesses and mood status? (4) Does adherence to diet and medication affect mood status among chronically ill patient?  and (5) Does mood status differ by demographic characteristics of chronically ill patients?  A convenience sample of 473 patients was interviewed while visiting the out-patient clinics at King Fahd Hospital.  Eligible subjects were interviewed in a semi structured interview by the researchers after agreeing to participate in the study.  Plus demographic profile, the Brief Mood Introspection Scale was used to collect data.

Results:  64.3% were females, 46% were in the age group 40 to 59 years old with a mean age of 47.9(15.9).  Majority was married, 25.6% graduated from colleges, 19.2% from high school and 28.1% were illiterate.    58.3% of the participants have 1 or 2 chronic illnesses and 34.7% have 3 to 4 chronic illnesses and 7% reported having more than 5 chronic illnesses.  78% indicated that they are adhering to medication, and 45% are adhering to diet.  There was no statistical relationship between chronic illness and mood status (r = .03, p = .69).  Mood on the other hand significantly correlated with the number of chronic illness (r = .21**, p = 0.01), age (r = .16**, p = .004), gender (r = .26**, p = .001), and adherence to medication (r=.36**, p = .002).

Conclusion and recommendation: Chronically ill patient are at more risk for mood disturbance especially with the increasing number of chronic illness.  Screening for mood disorders is important for early detection of more serious psychological disorders.  Intervention to identify mood disturbances and differentiate them from the consequences of the chronic illness is vital for improving quality of life and health related outcomes among chronically ill patient. Using qualitative analysis plus the current quantitative method may provide wide range of assessment and understanding.

Keywords: Chronic illness, mood, patients, Adherence

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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