Implications of depression in rheumatoid arthritis: do subtypes really matter?

Arthritis Care Res. 2000 Feb;13(1):23-32. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200002)13:1<23::aid-art5>;2-w.


Objective: To examine depressive disorders and health status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), controlling for potential confounds.

Method: Subjects (n = 426) completed measures of depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]) and health status (Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 [AIMS2]), via cross-sectional survey. Subjects (n = 299) with few depressive symptoms (CES-D < or = 10) were not evaluated further. Subjects with CES-D > or = 11 were interviewed using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders to diagnose major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 46), dysthymic disorder (DD; n = 21), or minor depressive disorder (MND; n = 18).

Results: Regression analyses examined differences between the depressive disorders on AIMS2 subscales. Health status scores were similar between the depressive disorder subcategories; significant differences were found between MDD and MND on AIMS2 Physical scores and MDD and DD on AIMS2 Symptom scores.

Conclusion: Regarding health status, presence of depression itself seems to overshadow differences between depression subtypes; antidepressant treatments/referrals for persons with concomitant RA and any depressive disorder subtype appear warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Bias
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / classification
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / classification
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis