Depression Among Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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A study published in the February, 2009 issue of Arthritis Care & Research looked at the incidence of depression among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study involved 200 arthritis patients from 4 rheumatology clinics with 8 doctors participating. The patient visits were audio-taped and there was a second interview after the visit to assess symptoms of depression.
The researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that about 11% of the patients had moderately severe to severe depression symptoms. Only 20% of these patients discussed their depression with their rheumatologist and when they did it was most often initiated by the patient and not the doctor and the discussion was short. Based upon these preliminary findings the researchers recommended that rheumatologist screen arthritis patients for symptoms of depression.

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