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Somatic symptom disorders (SSD) and functional somatic syndromes (FSS) are often regarded as similar diagnostic constructs; however, whether they exhibit similar clinical outcomes, medical costs, and medication usage patterns has not been examined in nationwide data. Therefore, this study focused on analyzing SSD and four types of FSS (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia).
This population-based matched cohort study utilized Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) claims database to investigate the impact of SSD/FSS. The study included 2 615 477 newly diagnosed patients with SSD/FSS and matched comparisons from the NHI beneficiary registry. Healthcare utilization, mortality, medical expenditure, and medication usage were assessed as outcome measures. Statistical analysis involved Cox regression models for hazard ratios, generalized linear models for comparing differences, and adjustment for covariates.
All SSD/FSS showed significantly higher adjusted hazard ratios for psychiatric hospitalization and all-cause hospitalization compared to the control group. All SSD/FSS exhibited significantly higher adjusted hazard ratios for suicide, and SSD was particularly high. All-cause mortality was significantly higher in all SSD/FSS. Medical costs were significantly higher for all SSD/FSS compared to controls. The usage duration of all psychiatric medications and analgesics was significantly higher in SSD/FSS compared to the control group.
All SSD/FSS shared similar clinical outcomes and medical costs. The high hazard ratio for suicide in SSD deserves clinical attention.
We explored long-term employment status and income before and after depression diagnosis among men and women and at different working ages in Taiwan.
Data from 2006 to 2019 were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Individuals with newly diagnosed depressive disorder aged 15 to 64 years during the study period were identified. An equal number of individuals without depression were matched for their demographic and clinical characteristics. Employment outcomes included employment status, which was categorized into employed or unemployed, and annual income. Based on the occupation categories and monthly insurance salary recorded in the Registry for Beneficiaries of the NHIRD, a subject was defined as unemployed if he or she differed from the income earner or the occupation category was unemployed. Monthly income was defined as zero for unemployed subjects and proxied as monthly insurance salary for others. Annual income was the sum of monthly income in each observation year.
A total of 420,935 individuals with depressive disorder were included in the study, and an equal number of individuals with not diagnosed depression served as controls. Employment rate and income were lower in the depression group than in the control group before the year of diagnosis, with a difference of 5.7% in employment rate and USD 1,173 in annual income. This gap increased considerably after the year of diagnosis (7.3% in employment rate and USD 1,573 in annual incomes) and further widened in the subsequent years (8.1% in employment rate and USD 2,006 in annual incomes in the 5th following year). The drops in the employment rate and income caused by depression were more evident in men and older age groups than in women and younger age groups, respectively. However, the reduction in employment rate and income in the following years after the diagnosis was more considerable among younger age groups.
The effect of depression on employment status and income was significant during the year of diagnosis and continued afterwards. The effect on employment outcomes varied between genders and across all age groups.
The effects of non-invasive, non-convulsive electrical neuromodulation (NINCEN) on depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance are inconsistent in different studies. Previous meta-analyses on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and cerebral electrotherapy stimulation (CES) suggested that these methods are effective on depression. However, not all types of NINECN were included; results on anxiety and sleep disturbance were lacking and the influence of different populations and treatment parameters was not completely analyzed. We searched PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, PsycArticles and CINAHL before March 2021 and included published randomized clinical trials of all types of NINCEN for symptoms of depression, anxiety and sleep in clinical and non-clinical populations. Data were pooled using a random-effects model. The main outcome was change in the severity of depressive symptoms after NINCEN treatment. A total of 58 studies on NINCEN were included in the meta-analysis. Active tDCS showed a significant effect on depressive symptoms (Hedges' g = 0.544), anxiety (Hedges' g = 0.667) and response rate (odds ratio = 1.9594) compared to sham control. CES also had a significant effect on depression (Hedges' g = 0.654) and anxiety (Hedges' g = 0.711). For all types of NINCEN, active stimulation was significantly effective on depression, anxiety, sleep efficiency, sleep latency, total sleep time, etc. Our results showed that tDCS has significant effects on both depression and anxiety and that these effects are robust for different populations and treatment parameters. The rational expectation of the tDCS effect is ‘response’ rather than ‘remission’. CES also is effective for depression and anxiety, especially in patients with disorders of low severity.
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