PY2- Rahe, Mahan and Arthur, prediction of near-future health changes from preceding life changes

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 07-05-11 12:16

Rahe et al

Aim and Context

Doctors working in a sanatorium noticed TB was more common in poor people, they suggested that this may be because of emotional stress of situation was greater. Hawkins compared TB patients in hospital to a control group, he found an increase in disturbing incidents in two years prior had a link with illness. Holmes and Rahe developed a standardised measuring tool to assess stress , using 5000 patients histories they developed 43 critical life events. 400 people rated these life events on how much readjustment the average person would require after the experience, the scored were totalled and averaged to produce a life changing unit put together to make a schedule of recent experience.

Rahe et al aimed to see if there was a prospective positive correlation between life changes and subsequent future illness.


2463 navy enlisted men, mean age of 22.3 were put aboard 3 navy vessels, all from a range of backgrounds, education and experiences. 2ships off vietnam and 1 in the med sea. Before boarding the ship each participant was required to fill out a military version of SRE, documenting changes in life over the past 2 years, the forms were filled out in each of 4 six month periods in two years leading up to 6-8month deployment on ship. Each life change on SRE was allocated an LCU score. Once on the ship, after each assignment a researcher would board the ship and review health records and note the number, type and severity of all illnesses, repeated visits for a single condition were counted as one episode. None of the participants or medical department were aware of the eventual correlations.

Findings and conclusion

The greater intensity of life changes the more likely they were to become…


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