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.

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 August 27, 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 August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit and calls for more regulation to keep them away from youth. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest group pushing for middle schools and high schools to start later, for the sake of their kids. 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:
from the past week

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