Prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms and their association with pelvic floor dysfunctions - A cross sectional cohort study at a Pelvic Care Centre

Desiree Vrijens*, Bary Berghmans, Fred Nieman, Jim van Os, Gommert van Koeveringe, Carsten Leue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


AimsPelvic floor dysfunctions (PFDs), like voiding complaints, urinary and fecal incontinence, and prolapse, are prevalent and associated with decrease in quality of life. PFDs are often complex and multifactorial in origin showing interrelationships between different PFD and with affective conditions. The primary aim of this study is to describe the prevalence of affective complaints in a cohort of Pelvic Care Centre (PCC) patients. The secondary aim is to describe associations between PFDs and depression or anxiety.

MethodsA cross sectional cohort study at an University Hospital's PCC. First contact patients were included in a triage system and filled out questionnaires regarding pelvic floor complaints and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores. Linear (dummy-) regression analysis of HADS scales was performed to test the effects of relevant clinical predictors related, and not directly related, to pelvic floor problems, and demographic characteristics of the patients.

ResultsFrom 1862 eligible first-contact PCC patients, 1510 (mean age 57.1) had completed the questionnaire (352 missing, 18.9%). The prevalence of anxiety and depression complaints was 30.9% and 20.3%, respectively. The variance explained for depression score by PFDs was 0.12 and 0.074 for anxiety.

ConclusionsAnxiety and depression are prevalent (30.9% and 20.3%, respectively) in a cohort of PFDs. PFDs can explain variance within anxiety and depression complaints. Corrected for other contributing variables, 12% of depression and 7.4% of anxiety was directly related to PFDs. We advocate a multidisciplinary approach, containing psychometric assessment for PFDs in order to obtain better diagnostic results and personalized treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1816-1823
Number of pages8
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fecal incontinence
  • pelvic floor dysfunction
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • urinary incontinence

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