Psychological dysfunction is associated with symptom severity but not disease etiology or degree of gastric retention in patients with gastroparesis

Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Nov;105(11):2357-67. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.253. Epub 2010 Jun 29.


Objectives: Gastroparesis patients may have associated psychological distress. This study aimed to measure depression and anxiety in gastroparesis in relation to disease severity, etiology, and gastric retention.

Methods: Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scores for state (Y1) and trait (Y2) anxiety were obtained from 299 gastroparesis patients from 6 centers of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Gastroparesis Clinical Research Consortium. Severity was investigator graded as grades 1, 2, or 3 and patient reported by Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) scores. Antiemetic/prokinetic medication use, anxiolytic and antidepressant medication use, supplemental feedings, and hospitalizations were recorded. BDI, Y1, and Y2 scores were compared in diabetic vs. idiopathic etiologies and mild (≤20%) vs. moderate (>20-35%) vs. severe (>35-50%) vs. very severe (>50%) gastric retention at 4 h.

Results: BDI, Y1, and Y2 scores were greater with increasing degrees of investigator-rated gastroparesis severity (P<0.05). BDI, Y1, and Y2 scores were higher for GCSI >3.1 vs. ≤3.1 (P<0.05). Antiemetic and prokinetic use and ≥6 hospitalizations/year were more common with BDI ≥20 vs. <20 (P<0.05). Anxiolytic use was more common with Y1≥46; antidepressant use and ≥6 hospitalizations/year were more common with Y2≥44 (P<0.05). BDI, Y1, and Y2 scores were not different in diabetic and idiopathic gastroparesis and did not relate to degree of gastric retention. On logistic regression, GCSI >3.1 was associated with BDI ≥20 and Y1≥46; antiemetic/prokinetic use was associated with BDI≥20; anxiolytic use was associated with Y1≥46; and antidepressant use was associated with Y2≥44.

Conclusions: Higher depression and anxiety scores are associated with gastroparesis severity on investigator- and patient-reported assessments. Psychological dysfunction does not vary by etiology or degree of gastric retention. Psychological features should be considered in managing gastroparesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastroparesis / etiology
  • Gastroparesis / physiopathology
  • Gastroparesis / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires