Background Depression is highly prevalent in RA and is associated with increased mortality, disability and healthcare costs [1, 2]. There is limited evidence assessing the longitudinal impact of depression on RA outcomes, particularly objectively-reported clinical outcomes.
Objectives To assess the impact of persistent depression on physical health outcomes over a 2-year follow-up period.
Methods A secondary data analysis of a clinical trial (CARDERA) was performed . Depression and physical health outcomes were measured at baseline and 6-montly intervals for 2-years. Depression was measured using the EQ-5D, and patients were categorised into 4 groups: 1) never depressed; 2) depressed at <50% of time-points; 3) depressed at >50% of time-points; and 4) depressed at every time-point. Physical health outcomes were: Larsen score; tender joint count (TJC); swollen joint count (SJC); ESR; assessor and patient global assessments (AGA/PGA); HAQ; pain; and DAS-28.
Results Data was available for 379 patients. Patients' mean age was 54.1 (12.3), and 68.3% of the sample were female. In total, 25.9% were never depressed, 36.9% were depressed <50% of the time, 27.4% were depressed >50% of the time, and 15.8% were depressed at every time-point.
Conclusions Increasing persistence of depression over time tends to be associated with poor physical health outcomes, with discordance between subjectively and objectively measured outcomes. These findings have significant implications: mental health should be measured and monitored throughout the course of treatment ; DAS-28 scores may be inflated in depressed patients, which needs to be considered when making treatment decisions.
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Rayner L et al. Embedding integrated mental health assessment and management in general hospital settings: feasibility, acceptability and the prevalence of common mental disorder. Gen Hosp Psychiatr (in press), doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2013.12.004.
Disclosure of Interest : None declared