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March 1959

Brucellosis: III. Psychologic Aspects of Delayed Convalescence

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Markle Scholar in the Medical Sciences (Dr. Cluff).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(3):406-414. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270030062006

Brucellosis is usually a self-limited disease. Complications, such as suppurative or granulomatous lesions, may, however, occur. In addition, some patients remain disabled after the acute infection because of persistent symptoms in the absence of any demonstrable physical abnormalities and are commonly said to have "chronic brucellosis." The present study was done to investigate the role of psychologic factors in the pathogenesis of this delayed convalescence.

"Chronic brucellosis" is clinically similar to neurosis in that nonspecific symptoms, such as fatigue, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, "nervousness," and depression, occur in the absence of abnormal physical findings. This similarity could be attributed to factors discussed below, which may be important determinants in delayed convalescence from any illness.

  1. Although similar to emotional illness, "chronic brucellosis" might be unrelated to psychologic factors and be attributed to enduring infection. The coexistence of neurosis and "chronic brucellosis" then would be no more than expected from chance alone.

  2. It

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