The state of mental health in people with a diagnosis of neuroborreliosis
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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Zakład Psychologii Zdrowia i Pracy / Department of Health and Work Psychology)
Online publication date: 2021-03-18
Corresponding author
Kaja Staszewska   

Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Zakład Psychologii Zdrowia i Pracy, ul. św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź
Med Pr 2021;72(3):259–266
Background: In recent years, the number of recorded cases of Borrelia burgdorferi infections causing Lyme borreliosis has been on a steady rise in Poland. A wide spectrum of disorders in the peripheral and central nervous system is observed in the course of such infections. Symptoms which are not clear-cut are reported by approx. 10–25% of all people infected with B. burgdorferi. They may concern both the somatic and mental spheres, which in turn significantly impedes the daily functioning of the patients. The main purpose of the research was to compare the mental health status of people with neuroborreliosis with that of healthy people. An answer was also obtained to the question of whether people with neuroborreliosis experience difficulties in functioning in the following areas: family, social, professional and educational. Material and Methods: The study included 60 people: 30 people with the diagnosis of neuroborreliosis and 30 healthy people aged 18–47. The mean age in the study group was 28.6 years. As a research tool, the General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ-28) by Goldberg was used along with a socio-demographic questionnaire. Results: The subjects diagnosed with neuroborreliosis obtained higher results in GHQ-28, both on individual scales: Somatic Symptoms, Anxiety, Insomnia, Social Dysfunction, Severe Depression, as well as the overall result, which is an indicator of the mental health status. As much as 70% of the patients experienced difficulties in functioning in the social area, 66% in the professional area, and 60% in the educational area. No impact of the disease on functioning in the family area has been demonstrated. Conclusions: The results of the study indicate some significant differences in the mental health status of people diagnosed with neuroborreliosis and that of healthy people. The patients obtained significantly higher results in GHQ-28 than the healthy subjects, which proves the poor mental health of the former. It was also confirmed that people diagnosed with neuroborreliosis experience difficulties in functioning in the social, professional and educational areas. Therefore, it becomes crucial to deepen research into mental health in tick-borne diseases, including neuroborreliosis, and to adapt and implement appropriate preventive and therapeutic measures. Med. Pr. 2021;72(3):259–66