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Psychosomatics. 2018 Sep - Oct;59(5):481-489. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2018.02.004. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Depressive Symptoms and Suicidal Ideation Among Symptomatic Patients With a History of Lyme Disease vs Two Comparison Groups.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical Therapeutics, Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY. Electronic address: sd2698@tc.columbia.edu.
2
Division of Molecular Imagining and Neuropathology, Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY.
3
Division of Clinical Therapeutics, Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Depression has been reported in 8-45% of patients with posttreatment Lyme symptoms (PTLS), but little is known about suicidal ideation in these patients.

METHOD:

Depression and suicidal ideation were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II). Scores from the PTLS group (n = 81) were compared to those from 2 other groups: HIV+ patients being treated for fatigue (n = 70), and a nonpatient comparison group (NPCG; n = 44). ANOVA and t-tests were used to compare groups; logistic regression was used to identify the strongest correlates of suicidal ideation.

RESULTS:

Mean BDI-II scores fell in the mildly depressed range for PTLS and HIV+ patients, with both groups having higher depression scores than the NPCG. Suicidal ideation was reported by 19.8% of the PTLS patients and 27.1% of the HIV+ patients, a nonsignificant difference. Among those with mild or no depression, suicidal ideation was uncommon (6.5% PTLS and 11.9% HIV+). Among the patients with moderate-to-severe depression, suicidal ideation was more common (63.2% of 19 PTLS and 50% of 28 HIV+); among these, 2 with PTLS and 1 with HIV+ expressed suicidal intent. Further, 4.5% (n = 2) of the NPCG had suicidal ideation, each had scores in the moderate-to-severe depression range. Higher scores on the cognitive symptoms subscale of the BDI-II predicted greater likelihood of suicidal ideation across patient groups.

CONCLUSION:

As expected, suicidal ideation is increased among patients who are depressed. The fact that 1 in 5 patients with PTLS reported suicidal ideation highlights the importance of screening for depression and suicidality to optimize patient care.

KEYWORDS:

Lyme disease.; chronic illness; depression; suicide

PMID:
29606281
PMCID:
PMC6119532
DOI:
10.1016/j.psym.2018.02.004

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