The objective this study aimed to investigate the independent contribution of somatic anxiety to the severity of depression-related fatigue. Seventy-six patients (85.5% female), aged 23–65 years (mean 48.7±10.6), diagnosed with major depressive disorder and currently in a major depressive episode (ΜΙΝΙ 5.0.0.) with a 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score ≥17, were studied. Forty-nine patients (64.5%) were concurrently suffering from anxiety disorder(s). Patients with physical diseases or other fatigue-related conditions were excluded. Reported fatigue was measured with the 14-item Fatigue Questionnaire (FQ). Based on HDRS item 11 (somatic anxiety) scores, patients were divided into those with somatic anxiety (HDRS-11≥2) and those without (HDRS-11≤1). Pearson’s (r) and Spearman’s (rho) correlations between FQ score, age, gender, inpatient status, HDRS score and somatic anxiety status were calculated. A multiple regression analysis was then performed, with FQ as the dependent variable. Fifty-seven patients (75%) were rated as suffering from somatic anxiety (HDRS-11≥2). Patients with somatic anxiety had significantly higher HDRS and FQ scores. The FQ score significantly correlated with the HDRS score(r=0.36, p=0.001) and somatic anxiety status (rho=0.35, p=0.002). The FQ score was independently predicted by HDRS score and somatic anxiety status, with standardised beta coefficients of 0.259 (p=0.028) and 0.255 (p=0.031), respectively. R2 was 0.185. Both the severity of depression and the presence of somatic anxiety independently correlate with the severity of reported fatigue in patients with major depression. This finding has potential implications for the management of depression-related fatigue.

Key words: Major depression, somatic anxiety, fatigue.

P.P. Ferentinos, V.P. Kontaxakis, B.J. Havaki-Kontaxaki, D.G. Dikeos, G.N. Papadimitriou (page 312) - Full article