Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 46, Issue 11, pp 1181–1190

Affective, anxiety, and substance-related disorders in patients undergoing herniated disc surgery


    • Institute for Social Medicine and Occupational HealthUniversity of Leipzig
  • Melanie Luppa
    • Institute for Social Medicine and Occupational HealthUniversity of Leipzig
  • Herbert Matschinger
    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of Leipzig
  • Hans J. Meisel
    • Department of NeurosurgeryBerufsgenossenschaftliche Kliniken Bergmannstrost
  • Lutz Günther
    • Department of NeurosurgeryKlinikum St. Georg gGmbH
  • Jürgen Meixensberger
    • Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Leipzig
  • René Toussaint
    • MEDICA-Klinik
  • Matthias C. Angermeyer
    • Center for Public Mental Health
    • Department of Public HealthUniversity of Cagliary
  • Hans-Helmut König
    • Department of Medical Sociology and Health EconomicsUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
  • Steffi G. Riedel-Heller
    • Institute for Social Medicine and Occupational HealthUniversity of Leipzig
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-010-0283-2

Cite this article as:
Zieger, M., Luppa, M., Matschinger, H. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2011) 46: 1181. doi:10.1007/s00127-010-0283-2



At present only a small number of studies have investigated psychiatric comorbidity in disc surgery patients. Objectives of this study are (1) to examine the prevalence rate of comorbid affective, anxiety, and substance-related disorders in nucleotomy patients in comparison to the German general population and (2) to investigate associations between psychiatric comorbidity and socio-demographic and illness-related characteristics.


The study refers to 349 consecutive disc surgery patients (response rate 87%) between the age of 18 and 55 years. The final study sample consists of 239 lumbar and 66 cervical nucleotomy patients. Face-to-face interviews were conducted approximately 3.45 days (SD 3.170) after disc surgery, during hospital stay. Psychiatric comorbidity was assessed by means of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-DIA-X). The corresponding data of the German general population were derived from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey (GHS).


12-Month prevalence rates of any affective, anxiety or substance-related disorders range between 33.7% in cervical and 23.5% in lumbar disc surgery patients. Four-week prevalence rates of any affective, anxiety or substance disorder vary between 13.2% in cervical and 14.0% in lumbar nucleotomy patients. Disc surgery patients suffer more often from affective disorders and illicit substance abuse than the general population. Significant associations were found between psychiatric comorbidity and gender, as well as pain intensity.


Disc surgery patients show a higher risk to suffer from mental disorders than the general population. The assessment of psychiatric distress and the assistance by mental health professionals should be considered during hospital and rehabilitation treatment.


Disc surgeryPsychiatric comorbidityAffective disordersAnxiety disorders Substance-related disordersComposite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-DIA-X)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010