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Short-term outcome of major depression: II. Life events, family dysfunction, and friendship difficulties as predictors of persistent disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge Clinical School, University of Cambridge, England.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether there is a pattern of social characteristics that specifically predicts persistent major depression at 36 weeks follow-up.

METHOD:

Sixty-eight consecutive cases with a first-episode DSM-III-R diagnosis of major depression completed a life events and friendship difficulties interview at presentation and again at 36 weeks.

RESULTS:

Four factors were associated with persistent psychiatric disorder in general: lack of a maternal confiding relationship with current partner, family dysfunction and poor friendships at presentation, and severely disappointing events between presentation and follow-up. There was no association between these adverse experiences. No combination of long-term or recent life events or difficulties was, however, specifically associated with persistent depression.

CONCLUSION:

Nonsocial factors may need to be taken into account to specifically explain the phenotypic persistence of major depressive disorder in first-episode nonrecovered cases within a year of presentation. Psychosocial interventions with first-degree relatives and current close friendships should be considered as a part of the treatment strategy for first-episode major depression.

PMID:
9100421
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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