What is the prevalence of depression in the setting of chronic pain?
The prevalence of depression in people with chronic pain ranges from 31% to 100% across sources. The variability between studies is likely due to a number of factors, including varying time duration used for the definition of chronic, varying definitions of depression, and differing checklists and questionnaires.
The prevalence of depression in chronic pain patients does seem to be consistently higher than the prevalence in the general population. A large survey performed in Michigan found that the prevalence of chronic pain due to any cause was 21.9%, and approximately 35% of the participants with chronic pain had comorbid depression.
In one large epidemiologic study, the prevalence of depression in individuals with chronic pain conditions was 11.3% versus 5.3% in those without. The data suggested that there are approximately twice as many pain disorders with a higher prevalence in women versus men. Also, women suffer from both depression and chronic pain conditions at approximately twice the prevalence of men.