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From accurate diagnosis to targeted therapy: depression in general medical practice

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Objective: to analyze the diagnostic significance of clinical and phenomenological characteristics of affective disorders in patients with chronic somatic pathology.

Patients and methods. The analysis included the results of a clinical evaluation of 131 patients with chronic somatic pathology, including 96 patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases and 35 patients with cerebral small vessel disease. Clinical assessment included Primary care evaluation of mental disorders (PRIME-MD) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.

Results and discussion. Despite the significant frequency and transparent clinical symptoms, general practitioners diagnosed mental disorders in only 30% of patients with depression. We observed a higher prevalence of somatic rather than psychological complaints during the clinical survey. According to the screening using PRIME-MD, 74% of patients were diagnosed with mood disorders, anxiety, and somatoform disorders. We also noted their significant comorbidity with a predominance of a depression and anxiety combination (p < 0.001). Hypertensive patients had the highest depression prevalence (87%) and severity. Moderate depression was the most frequent diagnosis in the study participants, corresponding to major depressive disorder (61.5%).

Conclusion. In general, the symptoms of anhedonia, depression, and anxiety were most pronounced in patients with affective disorders. The high prevalence of somatic symptoms complicates depression evaluation. It is possible to highlight depression and anhedonia as significant symptoms for the detection of depression in patients with somatic disorders.

About the Author

N. N. Petrova
Saint Petersburg State University
Russian Federation

Natalia Nikolaevna Petrova

Department of Psychiatry and Narcology

7-9, Universitetskaya Embankment, Saint Petersburg 199034


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For citation:

Petrova N.N. From accurate diagnosis to targeted therapy: depression in general medical practice. Neurology, Neuropsychiatry, Psychosomatics. 2021;13(3):53-58. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 2074-2711 (Print)
ISSN 2310-1342 (Online)