Prevalence of diagnosable depression in patients awaiting orthopaedic specialist consultation: a cross-sectional analysis

[thumbnail of s12891-023-06688-0.pdf]
s12891-023-06688-0.pdf - Published Version (1MB) | Preview
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Patten, Rhiannon ORCID: 0000-0002-1655-1849, Asilioglu, Alev, Levinger, Itamar ORCID: 0000-0001-9194-2033, Tacey, Alexander ORCID: 0000-0002-0718-9665, Pascoe, Michaela ORCID: 0000-0002-3831-5660, Tran, Phong, McKenna, Michael ORCID: 0000-0001-9998-0093, Said, Catherine ORCID: 0000-0002-8773-9750, Coric, Natali, De Gori, Mary, Lane, Rebecca ORCID: 0000-0002-8658-2739, Apostolopoulos, Vasso ORCID: 0000-0001-6788-2771, Woessner, Mary ORCID: 0000-0001-7001-8407 and Parker, Alexandra ORCID: 0000-0002-2398-6306 (2023) Prevalence of diagnosable depression in patients awaiting orthopaedic specialist consultation: a cross-sectional analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 24. ISSN 1471-2474


Background: Musculoskeletal conditions, including osteoarthritis (OA), are a leading cause of disability and chronic pain, and are associated with high rates of comorbid depression. However, signs of depression are often masked by pain. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of depression and pain in individuals awaiting specialist orthopaedic consultation. A secondary objective was to determine the relationship between pain and depression, irrespective of demographic factors and clinical diagnosis. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of individuals awaiting orthopaedic consultation at a public hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Relevant data were extracted from medical records and questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise participant characteristics. The patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to assess depression and a numerical rating scale (NRS) was used to assess pain severity. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to establish the relationship between pain and depression. Results: Nine hundred and eighty-six adults (mean ± standard deviation, age = 54.1 ± 15.7 years, 53.2% women) participated in the study. OA was present in 56% of the population and 34% of the entire population had moderate depression or greater, 19% of which met the criteria for major depressive disorder. Moderate-to-severe pain was present in 79% of individuals with OA and 55% of individuals with other musculoskeletal complaints. Pain was significantly associated with depression scores (β = 0.84, adjusted R2 = 0.13, P < 0.001), and this relationship remained significant after accounting for gender, age, education and employment status, OA status, number of joints affected and waiting time (β = 0.91, adjusted R2 = 0.19, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Depression affects one-third of individuals on an orthopaedic waitlist. A strong link between pain and depression in patients awaiting specialist orthopaedic consultation exists, indicating a need for an integrated approach in addressing pain management and depression to manage this complex and comorbid presentation.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1186/s12891-023-06688-0
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3202 Clinical sciences
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords osteoarthritis, clinical diagnosis, depression, comorbidity, chronic pain
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login