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Pain, not chronic disease, is associated with the recurrence of depressive and anxiety disorders

PainSci » bibliography » Gerrits et al 2014
updated

One article on PainSci cites Gerrits 2014: The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that poor physical health might be associated with increased depression and anxiety recurrence. The objectives of this study were to determine whether specific chronic diseases and pain characteristics are associated with depression and anxiety recurrence and to examine whether such associations are mediated by subthreshold depressive or anxiety symptoms.

METHODS: 1122 individuals with remitted depressive or anxiety disorder (Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety) were followed up for a period of four years. The impact of specific chronic diseases and pain characteristics on recurrence was assessed using Cox regression and mediation analyses.

RESULTS: Chronic diseases were not associated with recurrence. Neck (HR 1.45, p < .01), chest (HR 1.65, p < .01), abdominal (HR 1.52, p < .01) pain, an increase in the number of pain locations (HR 1.10, p < .01) and pain severity (HR 1.18, p = .01) were associated with an increased risk of depression recurrence but not anxiety. Subthreshold depressive symptoms mediated the associations between pain and depression recurrence.

CONCLUSIONS: Pain, not chronic disease, increases the likelihood of depression recurrence, largely through its association with aggravated subthreshold depressive symptoms. These findings support the idea of the existence of a mutually reinforcing mechanism between pain and depression and are indicative of the importance of shedding light on neurobiological links in order to optimize pain and depression management.

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