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Back problem sufferers more likely to have mental health problems

1 August 2012 - 1:44pm
Written by: 
Jethro Still

A study released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on July 31, found that people suffering from back problems are more likely to report mental disorders and psychological distress than those without back problems.

The report found that one in 11 Australians (around 1.8 million people) had back problems in 2007-08, where the nature of back problems can sometimes lead to disability, poorer quality of life, mental disorders and psychological distress.

AIHW spokesperson Louise York addressed these findings and said that affective mental disorders such as depression are particularly common in people with back problems.

"People with back problems are 2.5 times as likely to report having affective disorders, 1.8 times as likely to report an anxiety disorder and 1.3 times as likely to report a substance use disorder as people without back problems," she said on July 31.

"They are also 1.2 times as likely to report high or very high levels of psychological distress and more likely to rate their health status as fair or poor."

Activity limitations are also an obstacle many back problem sufferers face, where they were 3.4 times as likely to report a form of limitation to basic daily activities such as self-care and mobility compared to those without back problems.

If you are having problems with your back ensure that you are getting the help and services you need to address any health issues you may have.

Take care of your wellbeing by comparing health insurance policies to seek the private health cover that will suit your needs best.