Background: Although anxiety and depression status is considered related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and functional dyspepsia (FD) symptoms, ambiguity primarily arises from the difficulty in determining their cause-effect relationships. We aimed to examine the longitudinal reciprocal causation between anxiety/depression status and GERD/FD symptoms among symptomatic adult patients with GERD. Methods: Adult (≥ 20 years) patients with GERD symptoms received PPI treatment for 4 weeks after endoscopy. GERD and FD symptom subscales (GERD-SS/FD-SS) were evaluated using the gastroesophageal reflux and dyspepsia therapeutic efficacy and satisfaction test (GERD-TEST). Anxiety and depression status were evaluated using the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS). A cross-lagged analysis using structural equation modeling was conducted to examine causal relationships among psychiatric bias (anxiety and depression scores) and upper gastrointestinal symptoms (GERD-SS and FD-SS scores) over time. Results: A total of 182 patients with GERD (men: 120; age: 57.1 ± 12.8 years; body mass index: 24.2 ± 4.1 kg/m2; nonerosive reflux disease/erosive reflux disease: 61/121) were eligible before (T1) and after 4 weeks (T2) of PPI therapy. The cross-lagged effect model indicated that anxiety at T1 contributed to the FD-SS at T2 (β = 0.18*) and depression at T1 contributed to the GERD-SS at T2 (β = 0.23*) (*p < 0.05). Conclusion: Psychiatric bias was a risk factor for refractory GERD and FD. Anxiety and depression status reduced the therapeutic effect of PPIs on GERD and FD symptoms. Therefore, attention is required to detect the anxiety/depression status of patients with GERD/FD symptoms to treat patients appropriately and optimize therapeutic outcomes.
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