Assessment of pain symptoms experienced in major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder
Ramazan Koksal, Eda Aslan, M. Kemal Yazici
Article No: 1   Article Type :  Research
Objective: Ever since the important role serotonin plays in the mechanism of pain emergence became known, there has been a heightened interest in examining the pain that accompanies psychiatric disorders. However, the relationship between pain and psychiatric disorders remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to obtain information about the frequency and characteristics of pain seen in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety disorder (AD).

Method: The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and the “Brief Pain Inventory” (BPI) were administered to 94 patients diagnosed with MDD and 94 patients diagnosed with AD, respectively. Comparisons between the diagnosed groups, pain characteristics and socio-demographic variables were examined using the Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests in the statistical software package SPSS 11.0. Spearman’s rho test was utilized in order to examine correlation.

Results: Pain complaints in the MDD group were found in 55.3% (n=52), while this figure was 52.1% (n=49) in the AD group. There was no difference in the frequency of experiencing pain between the two groups (p>0.05). Variations of age, gender, and employment status did not correlate to differences in the presence of pain in MDD (p>0.05). In the AD group however, while there were no differences in age and gender regarding the presence of pain, complaints were more frequent in patients who did not work (p<0.05). In both groups, with a longer period of education the patients had received, there was a decrease in pain frequency (p<0.05). There was a positive correlation between HAM-D and HAM-A scores and pain intensity (HAM-D rho=0.217, HAM-A rho=-0.088, p<0.05); however, no correlation was found with the number of pain locations (HAM-D rho=0.165, HAM-A rho=0.105, p>0.05). It was found that pain affected self-care negatively in MDD (p<0.05).

Conclusion: The frequency of pain experienced in MDD and AD patients whom we assessed with the pain survey form was quite high. Additionally, an important finding was that while there was an increase in the intensity of pain with HAM-D , there was no increase in pain locations. It is important that pain is examined and evaluated as a symptom that can emerge in psychiatric disorders and not just a symptom in relation to physical illness.
Keywords : Anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, mental health, pain
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2017;30:278-286
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