The interplay between depression, anxiety and objectively measured physical function

Bianca Arianne Lever-van Milligen

    Research output: PhD ThesisPhD-Thesis - Research and graduation internal

    206 Downloads (Pure)


    The overall main goal of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between depressive and anxiety disorders and objective physical function in a middle-aged sample with (subclinical) depressive and anxiety disorders and healthy controls. This sample, originated from the NESDA study, is large and representative for persons with depressive and anxiety disorders since these persons were recruited in various settings with different stages of psychopathology. Furthermore, the NESDA study included two objective physical function measures (hand grip strength and lung function), a blood collection with determination of e.g. hemoglobin level, various indicators of different physiological stress systems and important covariates. Overall, we provided evidence of poorer objective physical function (handgrip strength and lung function) in those with depressive and anxiety disorders compared to those who are healthy, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and especially in women. Furthermore, we showed that higher physiological stress levels are associated with poorer objective physical function but do not explain the association between objective physical function and depressive and anxiety disorders. As physical and mental health are related, interventions to improve both physical and mental health should be paired in the future in both research and in mental health care.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    • Penninx, B.W.J.H., Supervisor
    • Smit, Johannes Hendrikus, Supervisor, -
    • Lamers, F., Co-supervisor, -
    Award date16 Nov 2021
    Place of Publications.l.
    Print ISBNs9789464234435
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021


    • depression
    • anxiety
    • physical function
    • hand grip strength
    • lung function
    • hemoglobin level


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