Depression treatment has been proven to relieve depressive symptoms and pain and may therefore improve the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among adults with arthritis. The objective of the current study was to examine the HRQoL associated with depression treatment among adults with arthritis and depression. A retrospective longitudinal cohort study design using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2009–2012) was adopted. The study sample consisted of adults (≥ 21 years) with co-existing arthritis and depression (N = 1692). Depression treatment was categorized into: antidepressants only, psychotherapy with or without antidepressants, and neither antidepressants nor psychotherapy. Multivariable Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regressions, which controlled for observed selection bias with inverse probability treatment weights (IPTW) were built to examine the association between depression treatment categories and the HRQoL scores. The OLS regression controlled for factors in the biological, psychological and social domains that may affect HRQoL. A majority of individuals reported taking antidepressants only (52%), 24.4% reported receiving psychotherapy with or without antidepressants and 23% did not receive either antidepressants or psychotherapy. In multivariable OLS regression with IPTWs, adults using only antidepressants had marginally higher physical component summary scores (beta = 0.96, p value = 0.096) compared to no depression treatment. There were no significant associations between depression categories and mental component summary scores. HRQoL was not affected by depression treatment in adults with coexisting arthritis and depression. Improvement in HRQoL may require a collaborative care approach and such intense care may not be replicated in real-world practice settings.
- Depression treatment
- Health-related quality of life