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Do unexplained symptoms predict anxiety or depression? Ten-year data from a practice-based research network

Boven, Kees van; Lucassen, Peter; van Ravesteijn, Hiske; Hartman, Tim Olde; Bor, Hans; Weel-Baumgarten, Evelyn van; van Weel, Chris

Description

Background: Unexplained symptoms are associated with depression and anxiety. This association is largely based on cross-sectional research of symptoms experienced by patients but not of symptoms presented to the GP. Aim: To investigate whether unexplained symptoms as presented to the GP predict mental disorders. Design and setting: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from a practice-based research network of GPs, the Transition Project, in the Netherlands. Method: All data about...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBoven, Kees van
dc.contributor.authorLucassen, Peter
dc.contributor.authorvan Ravesteijn, Hiske
dc.contributor.authorHartman, Tim Olde
dc.contributor.authorBor, Hans
dc.contributor.authorWeel-Baumgarten, Evelyn van
dc.contributor.authorvan Weel, Chris
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:50:15Z
dc.identifier.issn0960-1643
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/80714
dc.description.abstractBackground: Unexplained symptoms are associated with depression and anxiety. This association is largely based on cross-sectional research of symptoms experienced by patients but not of symptoms presented to the GP. Aim: To investigate whether unexplained symptoms as presented to the GP predict mental disorders. Design and setting: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of data from a practice-based research network of GPs, the Transition Project, in the Netherlands. Method: All data about contacts between patients (n = 16 000) and GPs (n = 10) from 1997 to 2008 were used. The relation between unexplained symptoms episodes and depression and anxiety was calculated and compared with the relation between somatic symptoms episodes and depression and anxiety. The predictive value of unexplained symptoms episodes for depression and anxiety was determined. Results: All somatoform symptom episodes and most somatic symptom episodes are significantly associated with depression and anxiety. Presenting two or more symptoms episodes gives a five-fold increase of the risk of anxiety or depression. The positive predictive value of all symptom episodes for anxiety and depression was very limited. There was little difference between somatoform and somatic symptom episodes with respect to the prediction of anxiety or depression. Conclusion: Somatoform symptom episodes have a statistically significant relation with anxiety and depression. The same was true for somatic symptom episodes. Despite the significant odds ratios, the predictive value of symptom episodes for anxiety and depression is low. Consequently, screening for these mental health problems in patients presenting unexplained symptom episodes is not justified in primary care.
dc.publisherRoyal College of General Practitioners
dc.sourceBritish Journal of General Practice
dc.subjectKeywords: anxiety disorder; article; clinical feature; cross-sectional study; depression; general practitioner; human; longitudinal study; medical practice; medical research; mental disease; Netherlands; predictive value; somatoform disorder; Adolescent; Adult; Age Anxiety; Depression; Mental health; Primary care; Somatisation; Symptoms, unexplained
dc.titleDo unexplained symptoms predict anxiety or depression? Ten-year data from a practice-based research network
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume61
dc.date.issued2011
local.identifier.absfor111700 - PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES
local.identifier.ariespublicationf5625xPUB8980
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationBoven, Kees van, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
local.contributor.affiliationLucassen, Peter, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
local.contributor.affiliationvan Ravesteijn, Hiske, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center
local.contributor.affiliationHartman, Tim Olde, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
local.contributor.affiliationBor, Hans , Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center
local.contributor.affiliationWeel-Baumgarten, Evelyn van, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
local.contributor.affiliationVan Weel, Chris, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue587
local.bibliographicCitation.startpagee316
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpagee325
local.identifier.doi10.3399/bjgp11X577981
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T09:44:38Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-80053213977
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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