The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of emotional problems on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) according to the type of emotional problem, degree of limitation, and perceived control of the problem with treatment.
A population-based cross-sectional study with probabilistic stratified cluster sampling was conducted in 2014 and 2015 in the city of Campinas, Brazil. A total of 2145 individuals aged 18 years or older participated in the study. HRQoL was evaluated using the SF-36® questionnaire. The dependent variables were the score of the eight scales of the SF-36®. The independent variables were self-perceived emotional problems, type of emotional problem (according to ICD 10), degree of limitation, and perceived control of the problem with treatment. Mean scores were calculated and regression coefficients were adjusted for sex, age, number of health problems, and chronic diseases using multiple linear regression analysis.
The prevalence of emotional problems was 32.7%. Among the individuals with a problem, the mean SF-36® scores were lower on all domains. Regarding the type of emotional problem, a complaint of depression exerted a stronger negative impact on HRQoL scores than anxiety. Moreover, a greater degree of limitation caused by the problem led to lower mean SF-36® scores. The negative impact on HRQoL was substantially greater among those who did not have the problem under control.
In conclusion, the findings underscore the importance of the prevention and control of emotional problems with the aim of reducing the impact on HRQoL.