There is an association between pain and depressive symptoms in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Changes in pain and depressive symptoms are predicted primarily by their measurements at the previous visit.
Husted and associates monitored 394 patients over a mean period of 7.5 years. Annual assessments included swollen joint count (SJC), Health Assessment Questionnaire, and the Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form 36 (SF-36).
The strongest predictors of changes in pain, SJC, and depressive symptoms between visits were scores of the corresponding variables at the previous visit. However, there was evidence of a small but consequential bidirectional relationship between depressive symptoms and pain. Previous SF-36 mental component summary (MCS) scores and change in MCS scores were associated with change in pain between visits.
Conversely, previous pain scores and change in pain scores were associated with change in depressive symptoms between visits.
The authors suggested that a clinical approach that assesses and manages depressive symptoms as well as pain in patients with PsA could enhance patient outcomes.