Background/aims: Former studies reported a high prevalence of depression in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). These studies hypothesized that the presence of depression could explain the fatigue experienced by these patients.
Methods: Our aim was to study the prevalence of depression in a Dutch population with PBC and PSC. In addition, to investigating the effects of using an additional diagnostic structured psychiatric interview, after screening with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a self-report severity scale instrument used in former studies. Patients with PBC and PSC (n=92) completed the BDI. Patients with scores of 10 or higher (n=39) were interviewed using a structured psychiatric interview. Patients with scores lower than 10 were at random (30/53, 57%) also interviewed using a structured psychiatric interview.
Results: Of the 92 patients that were included 42% had depressive symptoms according to the BDI. However, of these patients only 3.7% had a depressive syndrome according to the DSM-IV criteria as assessed with the structured psychiatric interview.
Conclusions: The prevalence of a depressive disorder in patients with PBC and PSC is not higher than in the general population. Fatigue in patients with PBC and PSC cannot be explained by depression.