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  1. B. Samões1,
  2. D. Fonseca1,
  3. T. Beirão1,
  4. M. Guerra2,
  5. R. Vieira1,
  6. F. Campos Costa1,
  7. T. Videira1,
  8. A. Aleixo1,
  9. P. Pinto1
  1. 1Centro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, Rheumatology, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  2. 2Centro Hospitalar Universitário Cova da Beira, Rheumatology, Covilhã, Portugal


Background: Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic disease with multi-organ manifestations that may contribute to disability and low quality of life.1 Therefore, anxiety and depression are more frequent in SSc patients than in general population.2

Objectives: To assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression in a SSc cohort and to evaluate its correlation with function, quality of life and assessment of gastrointestinal (GI) involvement scores.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted evaluating a cohort of SSc patients. All patients answered to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire. A cut-off score < 8 was considered normal. Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), Scleroderma HAQ (SHAQ), 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) and University Of California, Los Angeles, Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium Gastrointestinal Scale (UCLA SCTC GIT) 2.0 questionnaires were also obtained. Clinical data was obtained and analyzed.

Results: We included 20 patients, 17 females [n = 17 (85%)], median (min, max) age was 52.5 (28, 75) years-old. Regarding disease classification, 13 (65%) had limited SSc, 4 (20%) had diffuse SSc and 3 (15%) had early SSc. A score ≥ 8 was found in 14 (70%) patients on HADS-A [median (min, max) = 9 (2, 19)] and in 12 (60%) patients on HADS-D [median (min, max) = 8 (1, 15)]. Depressive patients had significantly worst scores on the measures of function, such as HAQ and lung and gastrointestinal involvements and patient global assessment of SHAQ, of quality of life, such as EQ-5D and physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, vitality, social functioning and mental health domains of SF-36, and on the UCLA SCTC GIT 2.0 scale. Anxious patients had significantly worst scores on social functioning and mental health domains of SF-36 and on the UCLA SCTC GIT 2.0 scale (Table 1).

Conclusion: The prevalence of depression and anxiety on SSc patients is high and should not be neglected. Overall disability and multiorgan manifestations, particularly GI involvement, may contribute to a low quality of life and consequently to depression and anxiety.

References: [1]Firestein & Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology 2-Volume Set, 11th Edition

[2]Brett D. Thombs et al. Depression in Patients With Systemic Sclerosis: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Arthritis & Rheumatism (Arthritis Care & Research) Vol. 57, 2007, pp 1089–1097

Table 1.

Function, quality of life and gastrointestinal (GI) involvement assessment according to HADS score.

Disclosure of Interests: None declared

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