Psychological distress is not associated with treatment failure in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease

Doron Boltin, Mona Boaz, Shoshana Aizic, Ami Sperber, Ronnie Fass, Yaron Niv, Ram Dickman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    Objective: Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We aim to examine the relationship between psychological distress and response to proton pump inhibitors (PPI). Methods: In this prospective study, GERD patients receiving PPI once or twice daily were divided into 3 groups: responders to PPI once daily (group A, N=111), non-responders to PPI once daily (group B, N=78) and non-responders to PPI twice daily (group C, N=56). All patients completed demographic and clinical questionnaires, Rome III Diagnostic Questionnaire for irritable bowel syndrome, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) questionnaires. Results: A total of 245 patients (59.3% females, 52. ±. 17.2 years) participated in this study. No differences were observed between groups with respect to age, sex, psychiatric medications or pre-existing major depression. Anxiety (HADS-anxiety. >. 7) was seen in 32%, 31% and 34% of groups A, B and C, respectively (p=ns). Depression (HADS-depression. >. 7) was present in 30%, 31% and 21% of groups A, B and C, respectively (p=ns). Global satisfaction with life (SWLS. >. 20) was present in 63% of group C patients, compared to 78% of group A and 78% of group B (p=0.04, p=0.05, respectively). GCSI scores (mean. ±. SD) were 11.1. ±. 9.2, 14.07. ±. 8.5 and 16.3. ±. 10.4, for groups A, B and C, respectively (p=0.002). GCSI correlated significantly with HADS-anxiety (r=0.20, p=0.002) and SWLS (r=0.2, p=0.01). Conclusion: Lack of response to PPI was associated with lower life satisfaction but not anxiety or depression. Symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis were associated with anxiety and low satisfaction with life in patients with GERD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)462-466
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013


    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Functional gastrointestinal disease
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    • Heartburn
    • Proton pump inhibitor

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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