Background: Anxiety and depression are prevalent in patients with asthma, and associated with more exacerbations and increased health care utilization. Since psychiatric intervention might improve asthma control, we examined whether patients with severe, prednisone-dependent asthma are at higher risk of these disorders than patients with severe non-prednisone dependent asthma or mild-moderate asthma, and whether they exhibit different personality traits.
Methods: Sixty-seven adults with severe prednisone-dependent asthma, 47 with severe non-prednisone dependent and 73 patients with mild-moderate asthma completed the HADS depression and anxiety subscale and the NEO-FFI for personality traits. In addition, asthma duration, body mass index and FEV1 were measured.
Results: The prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms (9% vs. 0 vs. 0%; p = 0.009) and anxiety symptoms (19% vs. 6.4 vs. 5.5%; p = 0.01), was higher in patients with severe, prednisone-dependent asthma than in patients with severe non-prednisone dependent or mild-moderate asthma. Patients with prednisone-dependent asthma were respectively 3.4 (95%CI: 1.0-10.8 p = 0.04) and 3.5 (95%CI: 1.3-9.6 p = 0.01) times more likely to have significant depression symptoms and 1.6 (95%CI: 0.7-3.7, p = 0.2) and 2.5 (95%CI: 01.1-5.5, p = 0.02) times more likely to have symptoms of anxiety than patients with severe non-prednisone dependent or mild-moderate asthma. There were no differences found in personality traits between the 3 groups.
Conclusion: Patients with severe, prednisone-dependent asthma have more often psychological distress as compared to patients with severe non-prednisone dependent or mild-moderate asthma.
Keywords: Anxiety; Asthma; Depression; Psychopathology.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.