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The objective of this study was to examine: how depression and anxiety affect the level of pain, disability resulting from pain and health-related quality of life (HRQL). The study analyzed data from the ‘Stepped Care for Affective disorders and Musculoskeletal Pain (SCAMP) Study’. The data of 500 patients were collected. All patients had been experiencing long lasting pain for more than 3 months on the low back, hip or knee. Half of the patients had depression. Patients were divided into the following groups: those who suffered from pain only, pain and depression, pain and anxiety or pain with depression and anxiety. After analyzing the statistics the following was found:

The average age of the patients was 59 years. 55% of the patients were women, 56% white and 40% black. 271 patients (54%) felt pain only, 98 (20%) had pain and depression, 15 (3%) experienced pain and anxiety and 116 (23%) had pain, depression and anxiety. Patients who experienced pain with anxiety and depression experienced the most pain. These same patients also experienced the most pain related disability. Mental illness was also linked with the number of disability days in the 3 months. Patients with pain only reported 18.1 days of mental illness as well. The pain and anxiety group reported 32.2 days, pain and depression reported 38.0 days and the group suffering from pain, anxiety and depression reported 42.6 days of mental illness. The last group also had lower pain and health related quality of life (HRQL).

The study concluded that patients who suffered from pain together with anxiety and depression experienced the most pain, greater disability and poorer HRQL.


View the original pain and depression paper at this link: Association of Depression and Anxiety Alone and in Combination with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Primary Care Patients 


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