INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is, looking at different care settings, to examine prevalence rates of psychological distress-level comorbidities in female interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) patients, their impact on Quality of Life (QoL), and the correlation between such comorbidities and symptom severity.
METHODS: A systematic literature search according to PRISMA guidelines was conducted in PubMed, PsycInfo, Web of Science, Science Direct, and Google Scholar.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine studies were found that met inclusion criteria. Prevalence rates of depression and anxiety are higher in IC/BPS patients compared to the general population; however, due to a wide array of measurements, statistical comparisons between care settings were only possible in two cases showing mixed results. No studies meeting inclusion criteria exist that examine PTSD and borderline personality disorder, though rates of past traumatic experiences seem to be higher in patients than in healthy controls. Psychological comorbidities of the distress category, especially depression, are found in most studies to be related to symptom severity, also yielding statistically significant associations.
CONCLUSIONS: While there is still need for studies focused on some of the comorbidities as well as on different care settings, the data already show that psychological comorbidities of the distress category play an important role in IC/BPS patients regarding suffering, QoL, and symptom severity, thus emphasizing the need for highly specialized interdisciplinary treatment.