Health service utilization in patients with major depression and co-morbid pain

Alvarenga, Marlies E., Caniato, Riccardo N., Mauritz, Anika, Braun, Anja, Aljeesh, Yousef, and Baune, Bernhard (2009) Health service utilization in patients with major depression and co-morbid pain. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 63 (1). pp. 101-106.

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Aims: Patients with depression often have co-morbid pain symptoms. However, rates of service utilization by psychiatric in-patients with co-morbid pain symptoms are unknown. The purpose of this study is to estimate whether patients with major depression and co-morbid pain access medical treatment for their pain as much as their counterparts with psychiatric diagnoses other than major depression.

Methods: A total of 103 patients (62 female; 41 male) were assessed for a diagnosis of major depression applying a psychiatric clinical interview followed by a self-report pain questionnaire, which assessed physical pain in psychiatric patients.

Results: Patients with major depression reported higher rates of pain symptoms in the past 6 and 12 months than their counterparts with a psychiatric diagnosis other than major depression. Analysis of variance showed that patients with depression were less likely to attend medical and specialist services for their pain symptoms than their counterparts. On the contrary, depressed patients with pain attended more frequently general in-patient services than non-depressed patients with pain.

Conclusions: Patients with depression suffer high rates of pain symptoms, but are at higher risk of not accessing appropriate services suggesting inadequate service utilization. The results have implications for screening and health care delivery for psychiatric patients with pain.

Item ID: 11425
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1323-1316
Keywords: comorbidity; depression; health service; utilization; pain
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Date Deposited: 28 May 2010 06:34
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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