, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 245-252

Psychiatric Comorbidity and Functional Status in Adult Patients with Asthma

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The goals of this study were to characterize the frequency of psychiatric disorders among patients with asthma, and to compare differences in functional status among asthma patients with and without comorbid depression and anxiety disorders. Fifty patients with confirmed asthma were administered the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for DSM-III-R and completed the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Survey. Patients with asthma had a higher lifetime prevalence of major depression, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, but a lower prevalence of social phobia, compared to lifetime prevalence rates for psychiatric disorders in a national probability sample. Participants with comorbid asthma and major depression had poorer physical and mental health functioning and health perception than did asthma patients without major depression. The results suggest that certain psychiatric disorders are common among patients with asthma and that depression is associated with significantly increased functional morbidity. These findings underscore the need for the appropriate detection and treatment of these comorbid conditions.