Objective: To investigate the prevalence of depression among otolaryngology patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) and the outcome of treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Method: Ninety patients with MUS from a population of 983 consecutive otolaryngology outpatients were enrolled. The Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) was used to screen for depression. In addition to standard treatment, all depressed and nondepressed patients received SSRIs for 8 weeks. The Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) scale was used to evaluate clinical changes in patients with MUS.
Results: There were 49 patients with depression among those with MUS, according to the SDS criteria. The patients with depression showed a better outcome than those without depression, demonstrating more significantly improved CGI-I scores.
Conclusion: More than half of the individuals with otolaryngological MUS had depression, and their MUS were successfully treated with SSRIs.
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