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Arthritis and Mental Distress

Mental Health Screening Suggested for Adults with Arthritis

A CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report recommends “systemic mental health screening” for arthritis sufferers. Over half a billion adults in the United States with arthritis may benefit from healthcare provider screening and referrals to psychotherapy and other programs to allay depression and other side effects of chronic pain.

In a telephone survey conducted in all 50 states, information was collected from adults with arthritis diagnosed by a healthcare professional. Highlights of the study:

  • Estimates of frequent mental distress and history of depression: 19.0%, 32.1%, respectively
  • Frequent mental distress was significantly higher among women than men: 19.9% vs 14.6%
  • Frequent mental distress was significantly higher among lesbian/gay/bisexuals compared with heterosexuals: 28.0% vs 16.8%


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