Is the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Associated With Outcomes After Lumbar Spine Surgery?

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Study Design: Longitudinal cohort. Objectives: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was developed to provide clinicians a reliable, valid, and practical tool to identify and quantify the anxiety and depression in medical patients. Several studies have shown that patients with chronic low back pain may have subclinical depression and impairments in mental health and that these in turn may lead to less than optimal results after lumbar spine surgery. The purpose of this study is to determine if there are associations between preoperative HADS and differences in pre- and postoperative health-related quality-of-life (HRQOLs) scores after spine surgery. Methods: From a single center, a consecutive series of patients completed the HADS, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Short Form-36 (SF-36), EuroQOL-5D (EQ-5D), and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for back and leg pain. Except for HADS, the patients completed the same HRQOLs 1 year after surgery. Results: Of 308 eligible cases, 208 (68%) had follow-up data available and were included in the analysis. Patients in the HADS-Anxiety (HADS-A) Abnormal category had the worst preoperative HRQOLs but had the greatest improvement in 1-year postoperative scores. Except for VAS Leg Pain, preoperative HRQOLs were better in patients in the HADS-Depressed (HADS-D) Normal category. Patients in the HADS-D Abnormal category had statistically significantly greater improvement in 1-year postoperative EQ-5D and ODI scores when compared with the other cohorts. Conclusion: Worse HADS-A and HADS-D scores are associated with worse preoperative HRQOL scores in patients with lumbar degenerative disorders scheduled for spine surgery. However, similar improvements in HRQOLs can be expected 1 year postoperative regardless of the patients’ HADS scores.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)266-271
Publication statusPublished - 1. May 2020


  • HADS
  • Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale
  • health-related quality-of-life
  • outcomes
  • spine surgery


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