Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Clinical Neurology, Psychiatry, Neurosciences & Neurology, Elderly, Pain, Major depressive disorder, Comorbidity, Help-seeking, RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIP, MOOD DISORDERS, PRIMARY-CARE, BACK-PAIN, ADULTS, SYMPTOMS, UNDERRECOGNITION, EPIDEMIOLOGY, DISABILITY, ANXIETY, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antidepressive Agents, Benzodiazepines, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depressive Disorder, Major, Drug Utilization, Europe, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Sex Factors, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
BACKGROUND: Chronic pain and mood disorders are common in older people. Their relationship however remains unclear. Only a few studies have investigated the role of pain in mental health service use and received psychopharmacological treatment. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of the 65+ subsample from the European Study on the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD). 4401 non-institutionalized individuals were interviewed using the third version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-3.0). RESULTS: Painful physical symptoms (PPS) were more likely in people with a 12-month major depressive episode (MDE) than in those without (OR=2.0). Help seeking for emotional problems was uncommon, but PPS were a significant predictor of help-seeking (OR=1.7). Respondents with MDE more frequently used benzodiazepines than antidepressants. The presence of PPS in respondents without depression resulted in a significant increase in the use of psychotropic medication. CONCLUSIONS: PPS were strongly and independently associated with major depressive disorder. Their presence had an influence on help seeking behavior and use of psychotropic medication. LIMITATIONS: The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow determination of direction of causality.