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Prevalence of depression symptoms in outpatients with a complaint of headache



Prevalence of depression symptoms in outpatients with a complaint of headache



Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 22(6): 633-637



This case-control study was designed to determine whether adults who present to a primary care office with a chief complaint of headache have more reported symptoms of depression than adults presenting with other problems. Adult, English-speaking patients who presented to a primary care office with a chief complaint of headache were matched to adult patients of the same age and sex who presented with problems other than headache. All participants completed the PRIME-MD 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire as a screen for depression. A total of 200 participants entered the study. The mean age of the participants was 43.8 years (range, 18-87 years). Women constituted 84% of the participants. Of those patients who presented with headache, 32% had a likelihood of possible major depressive disorder compared with 12% in the patients presenting without headache. Almost one-third of adult patients who present to a primary care office with a complaint of headache report moderate symptoms of depression when screened compared with approximately 10% of patients presenting with a complaint other than headache. Given such a high prevalence of these symptoms, primary care physicians should screen all adult patients who present with headache for depression.

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Accession: 055157023

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19897691

DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2009.06.070098


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