Background: In spite of the high prevalence rates of major depression and anxiety observed in patients with chronic low back pain, there has been no systematic attempt to investigate this issue thoroughly in our country.
Objective: This study examines the relationship between anxiety, depression and pain intensity in patients with lower back pain (LBP).
Methods: In this descriptive correlation study we present the preliminary result of forty (40) patients with chronic low back pain receiving treatment in the neurosurgical department of a General Hospital in Attica region, Greece. Data were collected with individual interviews using the demographic and pain related data instrument a short form McGill Questionnaire, the modified Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression and the Hamilton Rating Scale of Anxiety.
Results: In this descriptive correlation study we present 40 patients (16male-24 female) with chronic lower back pain.The average depression level on a 3-40 scale was 15,15 (SD=10,13) which is mild.The average anxiety level on a 2-26 scale was evaluated 7,40 (SD=6,52) which was less than moderate anxiety. There was no significant correlation between depression, anxiety and pain intensity.
Conclusions: Findings showed that younger and higher educated people perceived pain as more severe than older people and those with less formal education. In addition, highly educated patients reported pain with longer duration, therefore severe higher levels of intense. Patients with high anxiety levels also suffered from high levels of depression. It was also found that the longer the pain the more severe it was said to be. A significant relationship was observed between depression and anxiety indicated that depressive symptoms were more common in anxious patients.
Relevance to clinical practice: We assess patients with lower back pain to set a baseline uncover psychological problems and select a suitable intervention that will evaluate the patients’ response to treatment.
Key words: acute care, anxiety, depression, low back pain, nursing care