Depression, Anxiety Associated With Poor Illness Perception Rather Than Pain, Study Finds

Depression, Anxiety Associated With Poor Illness Perception Rather Than Pain, Study Finds
Depression and anxiety in patients with fibromyalgia are associated with poor illness perception rather than pain severity, a study has found. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is associated with depression and anxiety with prevalence reaching 60 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Although previous studies have shown an association between pain, coping and illness perception with depression and anxiety in chronic pain patients, no such associations have been investigated in FMS. This was therefore the main focus of the study “Poor Illness Perceptions Are a Risk Factor for Depressive and Anxious Symptomatology in Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Longitudinal Cohort Study,” published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. The study involved 280 patients diagnosed with FMS by a certified rheumatologist in The Netherlands. The patients completed a baseline questionnaire at the beginning of the study and a follow-up questionnaire after 18 months. In the questionnaires, anxiety, depression, pain severity, coping style and illness perceptions all were assessed using standard scales. Mean age of the participants was 42.6 years and 95.4 percent of them were female. At the 18-month interval, 68 patients had signs of depression and 80 of anxiety. Overall, the results showed that patients who believed their illness impacted their mental status and who had high levels of depression were more likely to suffer from depression in the future. Patients who suffer from anxiety and think that the treatment will not be effective also are more likely to suffer from more anxiety in the futur
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