Data have suggested that depressive symptoms are associated with decreased functioning and quality of life in some general medical conditions. Asthma is a chronic and severe general medical condition with an increasing prevalence, particularly in low income and minority populations. The limited data available have suggested that depressive symptoms are associated with non-compliance with asthma medications and even sudden death in asthma patients. However, minimal data are available on the prevalence of depressive symptoms in asthma patients and no previous studies have examined the relationship between depressive symptoms and physical and mental functioning in this population. In this paper, data from a pilot study in out-patients with asthma are reported. Twenty-six asthma patients were administered the 30-item Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-report (IDS-SR30) and the Short Form 12-item (SF-12) health survey which includes subscales for physical and mental functioning. Depressive symptoms were common in this population with 28% having IDS-SR30 scores consistent with moderately severe to severe depression. Highly significant negative relationships were found between both SF-12 mental and physical functioning subscales and IDS-SR30 scores. It was concluded that depressive symptom severity was highly associated with both physical and mental functioning in our sample. Larger studies examining the prevalence of depressive symptoms and depressive disorders in asthma patients are needed.
- Quality of life