Depression and COPD-association: not out of the blue
Keywords:Depression, HAM-D scale, Stable C.O.P.D.
Background: Depression is frequently associated with C.O.P.D. patients. Currently available treatment modalities are having limitations and chronic progression of the disease process in general causes decreased effort tolerance and poor socialization due to chronic cough and dyspnoea. Poor socialization and chronic symptoms result in mild depression to dysthymia and clinical depression. Three or more comorbidities associated with C.O.P.D. results in higher morbidity and mortality. Physician treating C.P.O.D. patients can use simple questionnaire based Hamilton depression scale to identify the patients having depressive symptoms.
Methods: 50 diagnosed COPD patients as per GOLD guidelines were enrolled in the study after consideration of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Each patient was screened for depression using 17-point Hamilton depression scale. The results were tabulated and analyzed for statistical significance and compared with the data available on this topic.
Results: Out of 50 stable COPD (diagnosed as per GOLD guidelines) patients enrolled for the study, 36 (72%) were males and 14 (28%) were females and in 19 (38%), (15 males and 4 females) patients HAM-D score was suggestive of depression. 10 (62.5%) patients from severe obstruction category (GOLD III) had mild depressive symptoms on HAM-D scale.
Conclusions: Considering the fact that a significant number of COPD patients enrolled for the study had depressive symptoms, it is advisable to screen the patients for depression and psychiatrist consultations should be considered when required.
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