The Effects of Behçet’s Disease Flare-ups On Mood: The Midwest of Ireland Study
W L Ng, F Adeeb, A Sebastian, A Anjum, M Brady, M Gillespie, S Morrissey, F Irwin, B McCarthy, J P Doran, J Devlin, A Fraser
Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Limerick
Behçet’s disease (BD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that the aetiology remains poorly understood but can be debilitating to patients. The course of the disease is hard to predict and may cause heavy psychological burden to those affected.
The aim of the study is to evaluate the effect of disease flare on the mood of BD patients.
25 patients satisfying the International Study Group for Behçet’s Disease (ISGBD) diagnostic criteria were recruited from a regional rheumatology centre. Telephone interviews were performed to assess the level, significance and severity of patients’ mood during disease flare.
Patients were asked to rate between 0-10 to reflect their mood (0-1=very poor, 2-3=bad, 4-6=fair, 7-8=good, 9-10=excellent). Patients were then requested to list the reasons contributing to the final mood score.
The median age was 40 years with an interquartile range of 27(29-56). 16(64%) females and 9(36%) males. 13(52%) patients rated their mood to be less than 7 with some listing more than one reason for their low mood: the most common was BD flare-ups (69.23%), followed by other health reasons (46.15%), family issues (38.46%) and problems at work (23.08%). 15 (60%) had disease flare within the past six months. Of those, 11(73.33%) had oral ulcers, followed by arthralgia (53.33%), genital ulcers (33.33%), fatigue (26.67%), intestinal involvement (13.33%) and skin involvement (6.67%). 4 (16%) were currently on antidepressant medication.
This study demonstrates that disease flare in BD causes significant distress to patients. Therefore it of utmost important to consider both the physical and mental wellbeing of patients when managing this group of patients.