Mental health, anxiety, and depression in patients with cerebral aneurysms.


Patients with cerebral aneurysms who were seen at a neurosurgery clinic underwent a structured interview, completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Medical Outcomes Study 12-item Short Form Health Survey (providing a mental component summary [MCS] score for general mental health), and were assigned functional status scores based on the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), Rankin Scale, and Barthel Index. Rank-order methods were used to assess the relationship between mental health, aneurysm characteristics and history, and functional status. Data were collected in 166 patients (71% women) with a mean age of 53.7 years. Depression was present in 8% of the study population and an anxiety disorder in 17%. Patients with both an unsecured aneurysm and a history of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) tended toward higher anxiety scores (p = 0.086). Higher depression scores were associated with a decreased functional status on the GOS (p = 0.015) and Rankin Scale (p = 0.010). The mean +/- standard deviation adjusted MCS score (37.9 +/- 7.1) was significantly less than that of the US population (p < 0.001). Lower MCS scores were associated with a decreased functional status on the GOS (p = 0.052), Rankin Scale (p < 0.001), and Barthel Index (p = 0.002).

Patients with cerebral aneurysms have increased levels of anxiety and depression and poor general mental health. Those who have experienced an SAH and harbor an unsecured cerebral aneurysm demonstrate increased levels of anxiety. A lower functional status in patients with aneurysms is associated with depression and decreased general mental health.

Aneurysm disease and its treatment can have an adverse impact on mental health, yet the affects of cerebral aneurysms on general mental health, anxiety, and depression are poorly understood.

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