Anxiety and depression in cystic fibrosis

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Oct;30(5):569-78. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1238915. Epub 2009 Sep 16.


Symptoms of anxiety and depression have important consequences for patients with chronic disease, including lower rates of adherence and increased morbidity. This review discusses the prevalence of anxiety and depression in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) across the life span and highlights current understanding of how these symptoms affect adherence, health outcomes, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Anxiety and depression appear to be more common in patients with CF than in the general population. Recent studies also indicate that symptoms of anxiety occur more frequently than depression in this population. Both anxiety and depression have been shown to be associated with poorer disease outcomes, including HRQOL. Depression, specifically, leads to lower adherence to recommended therapies. Given the prevalence and impact of anxiety and depression in CF, it seems appropriate to recommend annual screening using a validated approach, with referral for either pharmacotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy of those with apparent symptoms. A large-scale epidemiological study of anxiety and depression in CF is under way and should provide better prevalence estimates and more information on the effects of these psychological symptoms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / psychology*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Young Adult