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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2005 Mar;1(1):51-7.

What moderator characteristics are associated with better prognosis for depression?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA. madhukar.trivedi@utsouthwestern.edu


A retrospective data analysis was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of baseline characteristics in predicting treatment response to antidepressant medication in 97 outpatients with nonpsychotic major depression treated for up to sixteen weeks with nefazodone. Baseline demographics (gender), illness features (symptom severity, length of illness, length of current episode, number of episodes, age of onset, longitudinal subtype, endogenicity, melancholia, family history of mood disorders), and social features (living status) were evaluated. Response to treatment was defined as a >/= 50% reduction in the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD(17)) score. The results of a survival analysis indicated that patients with shorter histories of illness (< 4 years), a negative family history of depression, and those who were either married or were living with someone were more likely to have a positive outcome during the acute phase treatment of depression. The main findings are consistent with extensive previous literature indicating a better short-term outcome of depression where illness is shorter, where there is no family history, and where there is better social support.


antidepressant; major depression; social support; treatment predictor

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