Depression More Pervasive Among Those with Back Pain
Spine-health study finds that 61% of people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression.
July 17, 2007
Deerfield, Illinois: A study conducted by Spine-health.com, the leading health information website for consumers with chronic pain and back pain, reveals that depression may be much higher in back pain sufferers than previously thought.
A Spine-health.com user poll conducted in June 2007 showed that 61% of people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression (n = 642). Previous clinical evidence estimated the incidence of depression in the chronic pain population at around 20% to 30%. In the general population, the incidence of major depression is around 5%. Depression is treated with a wide range of options, including lifestyle changes, support groups, professional counseling, and anti-depressants such as Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Lexapro, and Wellbutrin.
“The fact that many people with chronic back pain also suffer from depression is no surprise,” said William Deardorff, PhD, ABPP, a clinical psychologist and Medical Advisor for Spine-health.com. “Continuous pain drains a person physically, mentally and emotionally, and can make everyday activities difficult or impossible. What is surprising is the percentage of people self-reporting that they are depressed, which implies: (1) that depression may be under-diagnosed in the chronic back pain population and (2) that all medical professionals treating a chronic back pain patient, including surgeons, should be on the lookout for signs of depression.”
To address this issue, Spine-health.com is making more resources available to its chronic pain visitors and practitioners that deal with depression. “We have created a Chronic Pain Health Center (http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/chronic-pain) which is a resource center that addresses issues like depression,” said Stephanie Burke, Spine-health.com’s President and Co-Founder, “and we are proactively adding tools and access to our unique patient-driven resources, like our award-winning forum, which provide a critical support network of peers for people with chronic pain.” In the coming weeks, Spine-health.com will introduce additional resources that address depression and other important mental health issues.
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