Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Knowledge of chronic pain and its relationship to depression among primary health care patients in Turkey is inadequate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of chronic pain and its relationship to depression. Materials and methods: In this descriptive study, data was collected with a questionnaire based on sociodemographic and pain-related characteristics, which was administered to a study population (n = 259) of primary care patients, 18-64 years old. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) (min-max = 0-10) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) (min-max = 0-63) were used for the assessment of pain severity and depression. Results: Of the participants, 50.6% complained of chronic pain and 48.8% had only one type of chronic pain. According to the VAS, 64.9% of patients’ chronic pain severity scores were between 4 and 8. Among those without chronic pain, 24.2% got a score equal to 17 or higher on the BDI (increased risk for depression), as compared with 38.3% of the patients who had chronic pain complaints (P = 0.015). Conclusion: This study is one of the few that have investigated chronic pain and considered it as a serious health problem among primary health care patients in Turkey. Physicians’ attention should be drawn to the effects of chronic pain, causing mental health disability, within the health system of Turkey.


Chronic pain, Visual Analogue Scale, depression, Beck Depression Inventory, primary health care

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