Stress is often claimed by doctors and patients to be an aetiological factor in peptic ulcer disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether ulcer patients perceive that they would react more strongly than normal to life event stress. Seventy-three patients with duodenal ulcer and their sex- and age-matched controls rated 81 events for the amount of distress and life change they considered the events would cause them personally. With regard to individual events, only one difference emerged: female patients rated promotion at work significantly lower for distress than did controls, when event experience was taken into account. There was a systematic tendency for ratings of male patients to be lower than those of controls. These observations suggest that duodenal ulcer patients do not perceive that their reaction to life events would be in excess of normal.
- life events
- peptic ulcer