The quality of life and psychiatric morbidity in patients operated for Arnold-Chiari malformation type I

Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2013 Oct;17(4):259-63. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2013.778295. Epub 2013 Mar 26.


Background: There are some case reports that highlight the association of Arnold-Chiari malformation (ACM) with psychiatric symptoms. We assessed the association between ACM and psychiatric symptoms and risk factors in terms of psychiatric morbidity and evaluated the quality of life after surgery.

Methods: This study consisted of sixteen patients who underwent decompression operation at the Department of Neurosurgery of Sisli Etfal Hospital. The MINI plus, Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire and WHOQOL-BREF-TR were administered to patients.

Results: About 43.8% of the patients had a psychiatric disorder. About 50% of the patients had co-existing syringomyelia of which 50% with syringomyelia had a psychiatric disorder. Patients with syringomyelia without any psychiatric disorder had significantly lower scores on physical domain of WHOQOL-BREF-TR (p = 0.02) than the patients without syringomyelia and psychiatric disorder. Subjects with a psychiatric disorder had lower scores on four domains of WHOQOL-BREF-TR. The patients with psychiatric diagnoses had significantly higher scores on affective pain index (p = 0.021) and total pain index (p = 0.037) than the patients without any psychiatric disorder.

Conclusion: The presence of a psychiatric condition influences not only the physical aspect but also deteriorates the psychological and social relations and environmental aspect. Moreover the presence of a psychiatric disorder increases the perception of pain and causes more discomfort.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / epidemiology*
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / surgery
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decompression, Surgical / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syringomyelia / epidemiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult