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Respir Med. 2007 Mar;101(3):638-44. Epub 2006 Aug 7.

Association of depression and anxiety with health care use and quality of life in asthma patients.

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Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75205, USA.



Demographic factors, symptom severity, and psychopathology, in particular anxiety and depression, are known to influence health care use and quality of life in asthma. Because depression and anxiety are typically correlated, we sought to explore whether depression specifically is associated with health care utilization and quality of life when effects of anxiety are controlled for.


In a cross-sectional questionnaire study, 88 asthma patients (46 women; age range 27-70 years) reported on symptoms and treatment of their disease, as well as anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), general quality of life (Short Form 12 Health Survey Questionnaire, SF-12) and asthmatic-specific quality of life (Living with Asthma, LAQ).


While no considerable associations between anxiety and health care use were found, the associations between higher scores in depression and hospital visits as well as days of corticosteroid intake were significant. Furthermore, considerable variance in all subscales of quality of life questionnaires was explained by higher scores in depression, even when controlling for anxiety. For anxiety scores these associations were comparable, except for physical well-being.


Depression is an important issue in asthma, as it is substantially related to quality of life and intake of corticosteroids, and marginally to hospitalization. Routine screening for depression should be considered in hospital and primary care.

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