Association of Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with Receipt of Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy for Uterine Fibroids: Findings from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Womens Health Issues. Sep-Oct 2020;30(5):359-365. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.06.005. Epub 2020 Jul 22.


Background: When hysterectomy is used to treat uterine fibroids, a minimally invasive versus open abdominal approach is preferred. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be associated with surgical mode. We sought to examine whether depression and PTSD are associated with minimally invasive hysterectomy (MIH).

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of veterans with uterine fibroids undergoing hysterectomy in the Department of Veterans Affairs between 2012 and 2014. Diagnoses and procedures were identified by International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, codes. MIH was defined as laparoscopic, vaginal, or robotic-assisted versus open abdominal. A dichotomous variable indicated presence of depression or PTSD. Clinical variables, including uterine size, were abstracted from the medical record. We employed generalized linear models to estimate adjusted percentages and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of MIH by presence of depression or PTSD and sequentially adjusted for sociodemographic variables and health indicators (model 1), and then gynecologic and reproductive history variables, including uterine size (model 2).

Results: We included 770 veterans in our analytic sample. Veterans with depression or PTSD were more likely than those without such diagnoses to have a MIH (49% vs. 42%). Differences were attenuated in model 1 (47% [95% CI, 37%-57%] vs. 43% [95% CI, 34%-52%]) and no longer detectable in model 2 (45% [95% CI, 36%-54%] vs. 44% [95% CI, 36%-52%]).

Conclusions: Veterans with depression or PTSD were more likely that those without to have a MIH, possibly owing to smaller uterine size, suggesting that they may be undergoing hysterectomy earlier in the disease process. Further research is needed to understand whether this reflects high-quality, patient-centered care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods*
  • Leiomyoma / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans
  • Young Adult