by Michelle Rizzo

Last Updated: 2008-05-09 16:05:55 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women with dysfunctional voiding experience a greater degree of depression and anxiety compared to asymptomatic controls, according to a study published in the April issue of Urology.

Dr. Alex T. L. Lin, of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, and colleagues assessed anxiety and depression symptoms among 32 women (mean age 48.3 years) with dysfunctional voiding and 31 asymptomatic control women with no lower urinary tract symptoms.

The participants underwent a structured interview on depression using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and anxiety symptoms using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety (HAM-A).

The patients had a mean HRSD score of 16.9, compared with 4.3 in controls. The mean HAM-A score for patients was 21.2 and 4.8 for controls. A significantly greater degree of depression and anxiety was observed among patients with dysfunctional voiding compared to controls.

"Dysfunctional voiding presenting with urinary frequency and voiding difficulty is more commonly seen in recent years," Dr. Lin told Reuters Health. "Although we suspect that depression and anxiety are reactions to the dysfunctional voiding, we could not preclude the possibility that psychological abnormalities might predispose one to the occurrence of lower urinary tract dysfunction," he commented.

Dr. Lin noted that the stressful environment of modern society might be a contributing factor for the increased incidence of dysfunctional voiding.

"From our observations, avoiding stressful situations and stress-reduction are important to prevent dysfunctional voiding," Dr. Lin advised. "For patients with dysfunctional voiding, psychological intervention to reduce anxiety and depression should be an indispensable part of the treatment plan."

The researchers’ next step is to assess the treatment benefit of psychological interventions on dysfunctional voiding.

Urology 2008;71:625-629.

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