Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 733–739 | Cite as

Depression, anxiety, and quality of life in a large cohort of patients with rheumatic diseases: common, yet undertreated

  • Panagiota Anyfanti
  • Eleni Gavriilaki
  • Athina Pyrpasopoulou
  • George Triantafyllou
  • Areti Triantafyllou
  • Sofia Chatzimichailidou
  • Eugenia Gkaliagkousi
  • Spyros Aslanidis
  • Stella Douma
Original Article


A growing amount of literature has explored mainly the role of depression (and/or anxiety) in patients with rheumatic disorders. We aimed at determining the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and their association with quality of life among patients attending a rheumatology clinic, focusing on data regarding concomitant psychiatric treatment. Depression, anxiety, and quality of life were assessed using the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and the Health Assessment Questionnaire, respectively. Overall, 514 rheumatologic patients were studied. Depression and anxiety were documented in 21.8 and 30.8 % of the population, respectively, and correlated significantly with quality of life. Only 13.4 % of patients with depressive symptoms and 12.1 % of patients with anxiety symptoms were receiving antidepressant or antianxiety medication. Given the wide therapeutic armamentarium available nowadays for the management of depression and anxiety, an increased awareness among physicians dealing with rheumatologic patients is warranted in order to integrate detection and effective treatment of anxiety and depression into the routine clinical practice. Special attention should be paid to female patients, patients with longer disease duration, and/or those with established disability.


Anxiety Depression Quality of life Rheumatic diseases 



We would like to acknowledge Dr Eleftherios Vorrias for his contribution in the linguistic revision of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Panagiota Anyfanti
    • 1
  • Eleni Gavriilaki
    • 2
  • Athina Pyrpasopoulou
    • 1
  • George Triantafyllou
    • 2
  • Areti Triantafyllou
    • 2
  • Sofia Chatzimichailidou
    • 1
  • Eugenia Gkaliagkousi
    • 1
  • Spyros Aslanidis
    • 1
  • Stella Douma
    • 2
  1. 1.2nd Propedeutic Department of Internal MedicineAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.3rd Department of Internal Medicine, Papageorgiou HospitalAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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