Objectives This study was intended to identify general psychiatric symptoms in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and to determine the distribution of these psychiatric symptoms by degree of disease activity.
Methods One hundred sixty volunteers, 80 AS patients and 80 healthy controls, matched in terms of age, gender, education and job, were included. Spinal pain by visual analogue scale (pain VAS-rest), disease activity by Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), functional capacity by Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI), and quality of life by short form-36 (SF-36) were assessed in patients. Psychiatric symptoms were measured using the Symptom Checklist-90-R, Beck Depression Inventory, State–Trait Anxiety Inventory, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Correlations were determined between BASDAI, BASFI scores and psychiatric scale scores.
Results In addition to symptoms of depression, anxiety, decreased quality of life and sleep impairment in AS patients, we also determined that less studied symptoms such as somatization, obsession, compulsion, anger–hostility, paranoid ideation, psychoticism, and low self-esteem were also more frequent compared to the healthy controls. Some symptoms were also more prevalent in AS patients with high disease activity compared to patients with low disease activity. In AS patients, while there was positive correlation between disease activity and psychiatric symptoms, there was negative correlation between functional capacity and psychiatric symptoms.
Conclusions Depressive, anxious and sleep impairment symptoms are not the only ones seen in AS patients; other psychiatric symptoms are also common. Further studies are needed to investigate the frequency and causes of these symptoms. As seen in patients with a progressive course and lower functional capacity, more psychiatric symptoms develop in patients with more severe disease.
Disclosure of Interest None declared