Investigating the relationship between pain and major depressive disorder in terms of depressive symptoms

EKER S. S., Eker O. C., KIRLI S., ÖZKAYA G., Baykal B. E., AKKAYA C.

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.16, no.4, pp.231-237, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Objective: Pain or painful physical complaints may be the sole complaint for admission to health care units in most of the major depression disorder (MDD) patients. In this study it is aimed to investigate the association between pain and depressive symptoms in depressed patients. Methods: One hundred patients, between 18-65 years of age and diagnosed with MDD according to DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criterion, who admitted to the outpatient clinic of Psychiatry department were enrolled to the study. Patients with accompanying axis I or axis II disorders according to DSM-IV-TR, patients with alcohol or substance abuse and patients whose pain complaints are attributable to an existing organic illness are excluded. Sociodemographic Data Form, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) which measures depression and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were applied to all patients who were enrolled to the study. Results: The mean age of the patients were 37.2 +/- 11.3 years, mean number of MDD episodes were1.9 +/- 1.12, duration of the recent episode were 7.2 +/- 5.6 months and mean score of HDRS were 21.8 +/- 4.2. 47% of the patients had pain complaint. Duration of the painful complaints were 28.7 +/- 34.4 months, mean score of VAS was 55.8. The most painful complaint was headache. Mean number of painful complaint localization was 1.6 +/- 0.9. The painful complaints were found to be associated with more severe depression. Discussion: It is clear that there is an association between MDD and pain. It is also known that the course of depression is poorer in MDD patients with painful complaints. Thus, for clinical practice, painful complaints should be questioned in details and treatment options should arranged in this regard for better outcome in the treatment of MDD.