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Patient Prefer Adherence. 2013 May 27;7:463-70. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S41703. Print 2013.

Do concomitant pain symptoms in patients with major depression affect quality of life even when taking into account baseline depression severity?

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  • 1Eli Lilly and Company, Windlesham, Surrey, UK;



Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) may suffer from concomitant pain symptoms. The aim of this study is to determine whether the presence of painful physical symptoms (PPS) influences quality of life when taking into account baseline depression severity.


Patients with a new or first episode of MDD (n = 909) were enrolled in a 3-month prospective observational study in East Asia. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Clinical Global Impression-Severity score, Somatic Symptom Inventory, and EuroQoL questionnaire-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) and EQ-Visual Analogue Scale (EQ-VAS) were assessed at baseline and 3 months' follow-up. The presence of PPS was defined as a mean score of ≥2 on the Somatic Symptom Inventory pain-related items. Regression analyses determined predictors of quality of life at 3 months, adjusting for age, sex, depressive symptoms, overall severity, and quality of life at baseline.


PPS were present (PPS+) at baseline in 52% of patients. During the 3-month follow-up, EQ-VAS scores improved from 47.7 (standard deviation [SD] 20.6) to 72.5 (SD 20.4), and EQ-5D improved from 0.48 (SD 0.34) to 0.80 (SD 0.26). At 3 months, mean EQ-VAS was 66.4 (SD 21.2) for baseline PPS+ patients versus 78.5 (SD 17.6) for baseline PPS- patients, and mean EQ-5D was 0.71 (SD 0.29) versus 0.89 (SD 0.18). PPS+ at baseline was a significant predictor of quality of life at 3 months after adjusting for sociodemographic and baseline clinical variables.


The presence of painful physical symptoms is associated with less improvement in quality of life in patients receiving treatment for major depression, even when adjusting for depression severity.


Asia; course; depression; pain; quality of life; treatment

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