ORLANDO, FL USA (UroToday.com) - It is well known that infertility and efforts to reintroduce new mechanisms for pregnancy causes significant distress in patients. In this AUA 2014 presentation, Dr. Aaron Bernie presented on their prospective study in which they assessed the relationship of anxiety and depression in men who were evaluated for non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA)
The authors identified 47 patients who were evaluated for NOA and 32 men who were evaluated for other urologic pathologies. The authors used a validated questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. They divided the questionnaire into two different scores, namely hospital anxiety score (HAS) and hospital depression score (HDS). They then compared the scores between patients who were evaluated for NOA with the patients who were evaluated for other reasons.
Interestingly, as authors showed in their results, men with NOA evaluation had higher likelihood to meet the anxiety cutoff in the questionnaire, but this was not observed in the depression score. In addition, Dr. Bernie reported results that showed anxiety and depression did not have any association with some of the factors they decided to include as possible covariates -- including age, testicular volume, FSH, or serum testosterone levels.
He concluded that anxiety is more common in patients who were evaluated for non-obstructive azoospermia. These results suggest that patients with the presented pathology need to be evaluated for psychological distress, as this may affect patient compliance with treatment plans, and affect their quality of life in general. The prospective nature of this study is a strength, but as discussion suggested after the presentation, a higher number of patients would be useful to draw a more concrete conclusion about the results. Discussion brought up the idea of using a different control group to assess the effects of different levels of infertility on anxiety and depression.
Presented by Aaron Bernie at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting - May 16 - 21, 2014 - Orlando, Florida USA
New York, NY USA
Written by Garen Abedi, MD, University of California (Irvine), and medical writer for UroToday.com