Mind Mattershttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/mind-matters-5/

Mind Matters

A new study shows that anxiety disorders significantly impair a patient’s and his family’s quality of life

Making a strong case for doctors to pay attention to the holistic management of patients,a study of 100 patients of depressive disorders and anxiety disorders at the outpatient clinic of DY Patil College Hospital,which is affiliated to a medical college,has shown that their quality of life was significantly affected.

Researchers Dr Neha Pande and Vishnu Tantia said that most common mental disorders (CMDs) such as anxiety disorders and depressive disorders run a long course,resulting in significant impairment of the patient’s and his family’s quality of life. “Evidence-based psychosocial interventions using findings in our own socio-cultural context would help clinicians in holistic management,” said Pande. The study has been published in the Dr D Y Patil Medical University Journal.

World Health Organisation defines quality of life as an individual’s perception of his/ her position in life in the context of culture and value systems in which he lives and in relation to his goals,expectations,standards,personal health,psychological state and concerns. According to researchers,anxiety means worrying excessively,being apprehensive and pessimistic. Somatic symptoms include palpitations,shortness of breath,nausea,diarrhea and perspiration. Researchers say anxiety and depression can often coexist. It has also been predicted that by 2020 depression would climb up to the second spot — next to diabetes — as a contributor to the global burden of disease.

“Pande and other researchers have documented the patients’ illness profile and satisfaction levels regarding treatment and quality of life,” says Dr Amitav Banerjee,Professor,Community Medicine,of the college and editor-in-chief of the journal. “Despite the limitations of a cross-sectional study,it was conclusive in demonstrating statistically the significant impairment of quality of life of patients with common mental disorders,hence making it vital for clinicians to pay attention to holistic management of patients,” Pande said.


The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety were used for the assessment of severity of illness in a total of 100 patients who were admitted between 2007 and 09. Two groups were set up: one had 100 patients of depression and anxiety disorders,while the comparison group comprised of the family members residing in the same house with patients.

Sixty six per cent of the study group had a diagnosis of depressive disorders and 34 per cent had anxiety disorders and illness of more than six months duration. Some of the other findings of the study were that 91 percent had a continuous course of illness; about one in five patients reported co-morbid medical condition,while 34 percent in the comparison group reported medical illness such as hypertension,diabetes,asthma and cardiac problems.

Depression and anxiety also have direct effects on work and daily routine,with affected individuals shunning social contact. The study showed that 92 percent of the respondents used to participate in cultural events before illness,whereas currently only 61 per cent continue to do so. Thirty per cent would watch movies and 72 per cent would go for outings before falling ill.

“In the study,39 per cent of the working population reported absenteeism and in this group; 90 per cent of those absent scored poor ratings on the quality of life criteria,” Pande said.