Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Depression: A Review

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Health Psychology Research


Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) are frequently present in the general population as patients age with approximately a third of individuals experiencing LUTS during their lifetime. LUTS can be further defined as having any of the following symptoms: urinary hesitancy, straining, nocturia, increased urination frequency, and dysuria. LUTS has the potential for patients to contribute their symptoms to what can normally occur as we age. This can lead to a decrease in patients seeking care and could negatively impact patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQL). In conjunction with LUTS, we obtained from our analysis that LUTS and depression are closely related and worsening depressive symptoms may increase the severity of LUTS. We also discerned three categories of factors that can yield major depression namely adversity, internalizing, and externalizing factors. Within these categories, trauma, social support, genetic factors, and minimal education appeared to increase the risk of depression in patients. With the recent increase in mental health awareness and more access to mental health care amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, further screening, and collaboration between providers to treat both urological and psychiatric symptoms could improve patient outcomes. It is important for providers to have an increased understanding of the mental and physical impact both LUTS and depression can have on patients’ wellbeing. This has the potential to help patients be more open about their symptoms with the aim of better addressing LUTS and depression to positively impact their HRQL.

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