Rheumatology International

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 859–863 | Cite as

The impact of concomitant depression on quality of life and health service utilisation in patients with osteoarthritis

  • Thomas RosemannEmail author
  • Jochen Gensichen
  • Nina Sauer
  • Gunter Laux
  • Joachim Szecsenyi
Original Article


To assess the impact of concomitant depression on quality of life (QoL) and health service utilisation of patients with osteoarthritis (OA). Data were collected from 75 primary care practices in Germany. Totally, 1,250 patients were consecutively approached; 1,021 (81.7%) questionnaires were returned and analysed. Measures included sociodemographic data, the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale (AIMS2-SF) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess depression. A PHQ-9 score ≥ 15 was defined as reflecting depression. Patients with a depressive disorder achieved significantly (all P < 0.001) higher scores in all AIMS2-SF dimensions. They had more contacts to general practitioners (P < 0.01), orthopaedics (P < 0.01) and to providers of Complementary Alternative Medicine offered e.g. by healers. Concomitant depression aggravates the burden of OA significantly. This results in increased health service utilisation. Appropriate treatment of depression would appear not only to increase QoL but also to lower costs by decreasing health service utilisation.


Depression Osteoarthritis Quality of life Health service utilisation Primary care 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Rosemann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jochen Gensichen
    • 2
  • Nina Sauer
    • 3
  • Gunter Laux
    • 1
  • Joachim Szecsenyi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Practice and Health Services ResearchUniversity Hospital of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Institute for General Practice, Chronic Care and Health Services Research UnitUniversity of FrankfurtFrankfurt a.M.Germany
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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