Prevalence and impact of depression and pain in neurology outpatients

L. S. Williams, W. J. Jones, J. Shen, R. L. Robinson, M. Weinberger, K. Kroenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations


Background: We examined the prevalence and health related quality of life (HRQoL) of depression and/or pain in neurology outpatients. Methods: Patients at outpatient clinics completed depression, pain, and HRQoL scales. Group comparisons between those with pain alone, depression alone, both conditions, and neither condition were done. Results: Overall, pain was present in 2/3 and depression in 1/3 of patients. Pain with depression was present in 25%; 75% of depressed patients had pain. These conditions had significant negative impact on mental and physical health status scores. The odds ratio (OR) for having pain was significantly increased in women (OR 2.0), those with depression (OR 2.4), and those with neuropathy/neuromuscular (OR 3.8) or pain syndromes (OR 4.8). The odds of having depression were increased in those with pain (OR 2.4) and with cognitive (OR 4.8) or cerebrovascular (OR 3.3) diagnoses. Neurologists were more likely to recognise and treat pain than depression. Conclusions: Depression and pain are common in newly referred neurology outpatients and have substantial negative effects on patients' physical and mental health. Pain is more likely than depression to be recognised and treated by neurologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1587-1589
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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