Somatic symptoms are the main complaint of depressed patients in two thirds of cases. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of psycho-functional pain in depressed patients consulting in psychiatry, and to identify factors associated with algic depression.
We conducted a cross-sectional study, which involved depressed patients who consulted in psychiatry, in February 2010, at Hedi Chaker University hospital in Sfax, Tunisia. For each patient, we collected demographic, clinical and therapeutic data. We used the VAS to evaluate the intensity of pain, the HDRS to assess the severity of depression and the magnitude of improvement under treatment. The statistical analysis was performed by SPSS. The comparative study was based on the Chi2 test and Fischer test.
We collected 36 cases of patients suffering from depression. Their average age was 48.2 years. Depression was minor in 33.3% and major in 50% of cases. The prevalence of psycho-functional pain was 80,6%. The pain was described as intolerable by 41.4% patients, agonizing by 17.2% patients and exhausting by 17.2% patients. The intensity and duration of pain were correlated to the severity of depression (p respectively: 0,006 and 0,008) Our study showed that the psycho-functional pain were very common in depressed patients, which is consistent with literature data. On the therapeutic level, it is important to take into account the algic symptomatology in the treatment of depressive episode. The emergence of new molecules mixing monoaminergic action would provide an effective response to the depressed patients with psycho-functional pain.