Depression and catastrophizing predict suicidal ideation in tertiary care patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome

Dean A. Tripp, J. Curtis Nickel, Adrijana Krsmanovic, Michel Pontari, Robert Moldwin, Robert Mayer, Lesley K. Carr, Claire C. Yang, Jorgen Nordling


Introduction: We sought to evaluate psychosocial factors as predictors of suicidal ideation (SI) in a tertiary care outpatient sample of women suffering from interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome

Methods: The patients are women managed at tertiary care centres (n=190). Controls were recruited from the community (n=117). Both groups completed questionnaires on demographics, pain (McGill Pain Questionnaire), IC/BPS symptoms, and psychological variables. Univariate and multivariate hierarchical regression modelling was conducted to examine the strength of associations and unique effects of psychosocial variables on patient SI.

Results: Compared to 6% in healthy controls, 23% of patients endorsed SI in the past two weeks. Correlations between SI, depression, and catastrophizing across controls and cases show that for
controls, SI is associated with greater pain (0.31; p<0.01) and depression only (0.59; p<0.01). For tertiary care centre cases, SI is associated with pain (0.24; p<0.01), depression (0.64; p<0.01), and catastrophizing (0.35; p<0.01). Regression analyses indicated that psychosocial variables accounted for a significant amount of variance over and above IC/BPS symptoms. Catastrophizing (i.e., helplessness) about pain and depression were significant univariate predictors of SI, but only depression predicted SI in multivariable analyses.

Conclusions: Limitations of this study include its cross-sectional design and primarily correlation-based statistics. The present study is the first to implicate multiple psychosocial risk factors over and above IC/BPS-specific symptoms and patient pain experience in SI in women with IC/BPS. Depression in particular is uniquely important in predicting suicidality. These results support a multidisciplinary,
proactive approach to IC/BPS involving not only treatment of disease symptoms, but also early detection/treatment of associated psychosocial problems.

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