Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Depression Not Discussed During Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctor Visits

Date:
February 1, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A new study found that patients whose activities were more restricted due to their arthritis were more than twice as likely to have moderately severe to severe symptoms of depression.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common chronic inflammatory arthritis, are twice as likely as other individuals to experience depression. Although depression in primary care has been well studied, no studies have examined whether rheumatologists and RA patients discuss depression during medical visits. A new study found that patients whose activities were more restricted due to their arthritis were more than twice as likely to have moderately severe to severe symptoms of depression. It also found that few depressed patients discussed their condition with their rheumatologists and the subject was always brought up by the patients as opposed to the physicians.

Related Articles


Led by Betsy Sleath, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, the study included 200 RA patients from four rheumatology clinics with eight participating doctors. Patient visits were audiotaped and patients were interviewed after their medical visits using a questionnaire to measure their mental status.

The results showed that almost 11% of the patients in the study had moderately severe to severe symptoms of depression and that those who were rated as being more restricted in their normal activities were significantly more likely to have these symptoms. Furthermore, only 1 in 5 of the patients who showed symptoms discussed depression with their rheumatologists and they were always the ones to bring up the topic. Even when depression was brought up, it was often not discussed at any length.

When patients visit their rheumatologists, their main focus is their RA, yet such chronic diseases can greatly impact a patient's psychosocial well-being. In addition, many RA patients see their rheumatologists more often then their primary care physician and depression can also affect a patient's adherence to treatment regimens. For these reasons the authors suggest that it is important for rheumatologists to consider addressing both the RA and the depression when they see their patients. The authors note that some physicians may not feel comfortable discussing depression with their patients, but they should consider having their office staff administer a brief depression screening before the patient's visits in order to identify problems early on.

In addition to screening for depression, the authors suggest it is important for patients to have access to appropriate treatment. Rheumatologists can treat the depression themselves, refer patients to a mental health professional, or communicate with the patient's primary care physician to coordinate a treatment plan. Also, given how common depression is in these patients, rheumatology training programs should educate physicians about the importance of screening for and treating depression.

"Failure to detect and treat depression may compromise patients' adherence to regimens and, ultimately, their health outcomes," the authors conclude. "Future research should examine patient- and physician-reported barriers to communicating about depression in rheumatology practices and use these findings to design innovative interventions that can be delivered effectively in busy rheumatologist practices."

Journal article: "Communication About Depression During Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Visits," Betsy Sleath, Betty Chewning, Brenda M. De Vellis, Morris Weinberger, Robert F. De Vellis, Gail

Tudor, Ashley Beard, Arthritis Care & Research, February 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Depression Not Discussed During Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctor Visits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201114144.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, February 1). Depression Not Discussed During Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctor Visits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201114144.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Depression Not Discussed During Rheumatoid Arthritis Doctor Visits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201114144.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins