Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences. 2015;6:9-14. Epub 2014 Aug 8.

Gender differences in somatic symptoms, quality of life, and functional impairment in depressive patients.

Sreevani R.


Objectives: Investigate gender related differences in somatic symptoms, severity of depression, quality of life (QOL), and functional impairment, and correlate somatic symptoms with QOL and functional impairment.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 100 consecutive outpatients seeking treatment for depressive disorder at district hospital psychiatric outpatient clinic, Kolar, Karnataka, India. This study utilised the Beck Depression Inventory II, Physical Distress Scale, Work and Social Adjustment Scale, and World Health Organization QOL BREF instrument.

Results: Mean constipation scores and back pain scores were higher in women compared to men.  There were no statistically significant differences between male and female patients with regard to depression scores, total somatic symptom scores, QOL, and functional impairment scores. Somatic symptoms scores are positively correlated with depression scores and functional impairment scores, and negatively correlated with QOL scores.

Conclusion: Women had higher constipation and back pain scores compared to men. If the symptoms of same disease differ between men and women, this has important implications for the history collection, diagnosis, and treatment process.



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