Depressive disorders and panic attacks in women with bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis: a population-based sample

Katherine E Watkins, Nicole Eberhart, Lara Hilton, Marika J Suttorp, Kimberly A Hepner, J Quentin Clemens, Sandra H Berry
General Hospital Psychiatry 2011, 33 (2): 143-9

OBJECTIVE: We report the population prevalence of probable depressive disorders and current panic attacks in women with bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) symptoms and describe their characteristics and access care.

METHOD: We conducted a telephone screening of 146,231 households and telephone interviews with women with BPS/IC symptoms. A weighted probability sample of 1469 women who met the criteria for BPS/IC was identified. Measures of BPS/IC severity, depressive symptoms, panic attacks and treatment utilization were administered. T and χ(2) tests were used to examine differences between groups.

RESULTS: Over one third of the sample (n=536) had a probable diagnosis of depression, and 52% (n=776) reported recent panic attacks. Women with a probable diagnosis of depression or current panic attacks reported worse functioning and increased pain and were less likely to work because of bladder pain.

CONCLUSIONS: In this community-based sample, rates of probable current depression and panic attacks are high, and there is considerable unmet need for treatment. These findings suggest that clinicians should be alert to complaints of bladder pain in patients seeking treatment for depressive or anxiety disorders and to complaints of emotional or personal problems in patients seeking treatment for painful bladder symptoms.

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