Sarcoidosis Patients at Risk of Mental Illness

Depression and anxiety may impair patients' quality of life

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Sarcoidosis patients are at risk of developing depression, anxiety and other mental disorders, and many should be referred for psychiatric or psychological evaluation, according to a report published in the September issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

Arianna Goracci, M.D., of the University of Siena School of Medicine in Siena, Italy, and colleagues conducted a study of 80 patients with sarcoidosis who were treated as outpatients. The subjects underwent pulmonary function tests and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and also completed the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire.

At least one psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV axis I diagnosis was endorsed by 44 percent of the subjects, the researchers found. In all, 25 percent of the subjects met the criteria for major depressive disorder, 6.3 percent for panic disorder, 6.3 percent for bipolar disorder, 5 percent for generalized anxiety disorder and 1.3 percent for obsessive compulsive disorder, the report indicates. Quality of life, enjoyment and satisfaction were correlated with forced expiratory volume in the first second and forced vital capacity, the researchers report.

"Subjects with multi-systemic involvement, with asthenia and with a more severe radiographic stage and subjects receiving steroids, reported a poorer quality of life," the authors write. "We believe that a brief psychiatric or psychological evaluation be indicated in all patients with sarcoidosis and that the possibility of a more extensive and specialistic evaluation and counseling should be considered for those patients who screen positively for the presence of psychiatric illnesses and for a poor quality of life."

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