Distribution and predictors of depressive symptoms in osteoarthritis

P. Dexter, K. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms in a sample of elderly persons with osteoarthritis (OA). Methods. Secondary analysis of cross sectional interview data from 108 community living persons age 50 or over who met American College of Rheumatology clinical criteria for OA of the hip and/or knee. Results. The prevalence of substantial depressive symptomatology appeared to be no greater than would be expected in the general population for this age group. However, persons currently under a physician's care for OA were significantly more depressed than those not under care, and, with the exception of those who had posthigh school education, depression was a better predictor of being under care than OA symptoms. The direct and interactive effects of 3 variables - education, age and self-perceived impact of the OA problem - were found to explain 40% of variance in depression scores in the total sample and 50% among those currently receiving care. Younger and less educated subjects had relatively more depressive symptoms and, furthermore, in this subgroup the correlation between OA impact and depression was high. Conclusions. The importance of assessing depression in persons who seek care for OA is supported. Furthermore, our results suggest that the observed relationship between education and arthritis outcomes could be mediated, at least in part, by depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994


  • AGE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology

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