European Journal of Rheumatology
Original Article

Anxiety and depression among patients with axial spondyloarthritis


Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to Be) University, Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune, Maharashtra, India


Department of Psychiatry, Trimiti Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India


Department of Rheumatology, Apex Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Eur J Rheumatol 2022; 9: 8-13
DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2021.21022
Read: 2453 Downloads: 901 Published: 01 January 2022

Objective: The axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) mainly affects young population and often leads to reduced mobility, but less is known about the impact it has on mental health. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression among axSpA patients and explore the underlying associated factors.

Methods: A cross sectional survey-based study was conducted from a single center. A convenient sampling was done to include 100 patients. We included questions about disease activity, sleep, fatigue, quality of life (QoL), and work productivity. All patients were asked to fill the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ) for depression and general anxiety disorder-7 (GAD) for anxiety. A multivariate binomial logistic regression analysis was performed to determine associations between PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores with various socio-demographic factors, disease activity scores, and other variables.

Results: Clinically significant symptoms of anxiety and depression were present in 38% and 36% patients, respectively. Both were significantly associated with younger age at disease onset (P < .05), high disease activity, sleep disturbances, fatigue, poor QoL, and high impact on work productivity. Misbeliefs that “doctors hide side-effects of medicines” and “all modern medicine used in treatment of axSpA causes side-effects” were also related to higher anxiety and depression scores. Depression was also found to be associated with female patients.

Conclusion: Anxiety and depression are common in axSpA. They are associated with high disease activity and reduced work productivity. Patients should be regularly screened for these symptoms.

Cite this article as: Reddy KN, Sabu N, Pandey N, Raut A, Joag K, Patil P. Anxiety and depression among patients with axial spondyloarthritis. Eur J Rheumatol. 2021;9(1):8-13.

EISSN 2148-4279