Publication

Clinical relevance of comorbidity in anxiety disorders: A report from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA)

Hofmeijer-Sevink, M. K., Batelaan, N. M., van Megen, H. J. G. M., Penninx, B. W., Cath, D. C., van den Hout, M. A. & van Balkom, A. J. L. M., Mar-2012, In : Journal of Affective Disorders. 137, 1-3, p. 106-112 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Mieke Klein Hofmeijer-Sevink
  • Neeltje M. Batelaan
  • Harold J. G. M. van Megen
  • Brenda W. Penninx
  • Danielle C. Cath
  • Marcel A. van den Hout
  • Anton J. L. M. van Balkom

Background: To study the clinical relevance of type of comorbidity and number of comorbid disorders in anxiety disorders. Four groups were compared according to sociodemographic-, vulnerability- and clinical factors: single anxiety disorder, anxiety-anxiety comorbidity, anxiety-depressive comorbidity and "double" comorbidity (i.e. anxiety and depressive comorbidity).

Methods: Data were obtained from the Netherlands Study of Anxiety and Depression (NESDA). A sample of 1004 participants with a current anxiety disorder was evaluated.

Results: As compared with single anxiety, anxiety-anxiety comorbidity was associated with higher severity, greater chronicity and more treatment. Anxiety-anxiety comorbidity was associated with an earlier age of onset and a more chronic course compared with anxiety-depressive comorbidity, while anxiety-depressive comorbidity was associated with more severe symptoms and more impaired functioning than anxiety-anxiety comorbidity. "Double" comorbidity was associated with higher severity, greater chronicity, more treatment and increased disability. Sociodemographic and vulnerability factors were comparable among the four groups.

Limitations

A prospective design would be more appropriate to study the outcome. In this study no distinction was made between whether depression or anxiety disorder preceded the current anxiety disorder.

Conclusions: It is clinical relevant to diagnose and treat comorbidity among anxiety disorders as it is associated with higher severity and more chronicity. Whereas anxiety-anxiety comorbidity has an earlier age of onset and a more chronic course, anxiety-depressive comorbidity leads to more treatment and impaired functioning. "Double" comorbidity leads to even more severity, chronicity and impairment functioning compared with both anxiety-anxiety and anxiety-depressive comorbidity. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume137
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2012

    Keywords

  • Anxiety, Depression, Comorbidity, PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS, THREATENING EXPERIENCES, PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES, MOOD DISORDERS, INVENTORY, LIFE, RELIABILITY, NEUROTICISM, VALIDITY, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

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