Symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with chronic low back pain syndrome

Original Article, Zdr Publ 2013;123(2):148-152


1 Chair and Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2 Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
3 Independent Public Group of the Outpatient Care, Zoliborz Warszawa, Poland
4 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Zamojski Non-public Hospital Ltd, Poland
5 Autonomous Health Care Unit Neuro-PsychoCenter, Poland



Introduction. Back pain syndromes are some of the most frequent causes of discomfort in contemporary humans, which have health-related, emotional, social and economic consequences.
Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the severity of symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with chronic low back pain.
Material and methods. The study included 60 patients of the Neurology Unit of the Non-public Healthcare Center Neuro-Psycho-Centrum in Lublin treated for chronic pain syndrome of the lumbosacral spine (30 women and 30 men) and a control group of 60 healthy subjects (30 women and 30 men). All the patients were treated conservatively. The mean age of the patients was 43 years and the mean duration of symptoms was more than two years. The control group was selected randomly from among healthy individuals and was matched to the clinical test group by gender, age, place of residence and level of education. The level of depression in the participants was determined using the Beck Depression Inventory, and the severity of anxiety was tested using Spielberger’s STAI questionnaire.
Results. Statistically significant differences were found between patients with low back pain syndromes and healthy individuals regarding the severity of symptoms of depression and state and trait anxiety.
Conclusions. Patients with chronic low back pain are characterized by significantly higher levels of state and trait anxiety than healthy controls. Degenerative disc disease patients suffering from low back pain syndromes have significantly higher levels of depression than healthy individuals.The differences in the severity of symptoms of depression and state and trait anxiety between men with lumbosacral spine pain and healthy men are larger than those between female patients and controls.


degenerative disc disease, (Intervertebral Disc Degeneration) anxiety, depression, spinal pain.


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