Controversies surrounding the comorbidity of depression and anxiety in inflammatory bowel disease patients: A literature review

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Impact Factor: 4.46). 02/2007; 13(2):225 - 234. DOI: 10.1002/ibd.20062


Psychological disorders are highly prevalent in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anxiety and depression are known to independently affect quality of life and may additionally impair quality of life in IBD over and above the IBD itself. Some researchers have further proposed that anxiety and depression may influence the clinical course of IBD. However, despite the potential for anxiety and depression to play an important role in the clinical picture of IBD, there is little prospective well-controlled research in this area. Probably because of this lack of clear data, researchers dispute the actual role of these psychological disorders in IBD, with a number of conflicting opinions expressed. This article reports on a review of the literature in this field. Herein we discuss the five main areas of controversy regarding IBD and the specific psychological comorbidities of depression and anxiety: 1) the relative rate of cooccurrence of these psychological disorders with IBD; 2) the cooccurrence of these psychological disorders with particular phase of IBD; 3) the cooccurrence of these psychological disorders with the specific type of IBD; 4) the rate of these psychological comorbidities compared both to healthy subjects and to other disease states; and 5) the timing of onset of psychological comorbidity with respect to onset of IBD. Methodological weaknesses of the reviewed studies make it impossible to resolve these controversies. However, the results clearly show that anxiety/depression and IBD frequently interact. Given the long-term illness burden patients with IBD face, further prospective, appropriately controlled studies are needed to adequately answer the question of the precise interplay between anxiety/depression and IBD.(Inflamm Bowel Dis 2007)

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Available from: Jane M Andrews
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    • "We used the Greek standardized versions of three self-reported instruments frequently used in research concerning anxiety and depression in IBD patients [4]: "
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether anxiety and depression levels are associated with Heat Shock Protein 70 (HSP70) induction in the colon of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). The design was cross-sectional. Clinical activity was assessed by the Rachmilewitz Index (CAI). Three psychometric questionnaires were used: Zung Depression Rating Scale (ZDRS), Spielberg State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Colon biopsies were obtained from each affected anatomical site. Severity of inflammation was assessed by eosin/hematoxylin. Constitutive (HSP70c) and inducible (HSP70i) HSP70 expression were immunohistochemically studied. 29 UC patients were enrolled (69% men). Mean age was 46.5 years (SD: 19.5). Inflammation severity was moderate in 17 patients, severe in 6, and mild in 6. The mean number of years since diagnosis was 7.9 (SD: 6.5). The mean CAI was 6.4 (SD: 3.1). In active UC, there was downregulation of HSP70c in inflamed epithelium, without significant HSP70 induction. In 22/29 cases of active cryptitis, polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) clearly expressed HSP70i, with weak, focal positivity in the other 7 cases. Except for the hospital anxiety scale, scores in all psychometric tools were higher in patients with strong HSP70i immunoreactivity in the PMN. Logistic regression showed a strong positive relationship between HSP70i immunoreactivity in the PMN cells and scores in the trait anxiety, ZDRS, and hospital depression scales, (Odds ratios 1.3, 1.3, and 1.5; P = 0.018, 0.023, and 0.038; Wald test, 5.6, 5.2, and 4.3 respectively) and a weaker but significant positive correlation with the CAI (Odds ratio 1.654; P = 0.049; Wald test 3.858). HSP70 is induced in PMN cells of UC patients and its induction correlates with depression and anxiety levels.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMC Gastroenterology
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    • "Depression and anxiety are also involved in adapting to the disease [1], [3], [9], [26], [27]. Whereas many studies underline the high incidence of depression among IBD patients, others tend to moderate this finding [28]. However, links between active diseases and the presence of a depressive disorder have been shown [2], [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Because of the fluctuating and occasional character of Crohn’s disease (CD), patients have to cope with a changeable condition of health. Personal perceived control is known to be an important element of adaptation to their medical condition. The objectives of this work are to determine if perceived personal control is predictive of the clinical activity of the disease and of psychological distress (depression, anxiety). Methods: The Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), the causal dimension scale and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI; assessing perceived severity) were administered to 160 patients affected by Crohn’s disease. Indicators of inflammation (CRP), disease duration and clinical activity of the disease were also asessed. Results: Globally, CD patients perceive their disease as being personally neither controllable nor uncontrollable. Whereas psychological distress is significantly higher when the disease is active, the relationship between the variables appears complex. The feeling of personal control is explained by the clinical activity of the disease (p=.0001) and by the perception that CD is unstable (p<.00001) and globally impacts the life of patients (p=.001). Nevertheless perception of personal control does not explain the clinical activity of the disease. Finally, psychological distress is explained by the perception that the medical team is unable to control the disease (p=.00001) and by the global consequences of the disease on life (p<.005). Conclusions: Psychological treatments should take these dimensions into account so as to improve the well-being and medical conditions of patients.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine
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    • "Some have concluded that psychological factors contribute to exacerbations of symptoms [15,17] while others have refuted it [14]. More recent reviews, however, are leaning towards psychological factors having an impact on IBD symptomology, but they remain controversial and unclear [12,18-20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Inflammatory bowel disease is an idiopathic chronic disease that affects around 28 million people worldwide. Symptoms are distressing and have a detrimental effect on patients’ quality of life. A possible link between exacerbation of symptoms and psychological factors has been suspected but not established. Previous reviews concerned with this link had conceptual and methodological limitations. In this paper we set out a protocol that lays the foundations for a systematic review that will address these shortcomings. The aim of this review is to provide researchers and clinicians with clarity on the role of psychological factors in inflammatory bowel disease symptom exacerbation. Method/design We will identify all original, published, peer reviewed studies relevant to the topic and published in English from inception to November 2012. The databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsychINFO will be systematically searched. The search terms will include: inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psychological stress, mental stress, life stress, family stress, hassles, social stress, coping, mood disorders, anxiety and depression in sequential combinations. Studies will be screened according to predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria by two reviewers. We will include clinical prospective cohort studies of all human participants aged 18 years or over with a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. All eligible papers will be independently and critically appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool by two reviewers. Two reviewers will independently extract and synthesise data from the studies using a predefined data extraction sheet. Disagreements will be resolved by discussion between reviewers and a third party will be consulted if agreement is not reached. Synthesised data will be analysed using Bradford Hill criterion for causality. If data permits, meta-analysis will be performed. Discussion This study will provide the most comprehensive review and synthesis of current evidence around the link between psychological factors and symptom exacerbation in inflammatory bowel disease. Results will inform clinicians in appropriate intervention development for this patient group that would reduce symptom exacerbation and therefore improve patients’ quality of life.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Systematic Reviews
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