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Eur Psychiatry. 2004 Jun;19(4):196-201.

Psychosocial functioning in patients with treatment resistant depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, 15 Parkman Street, WAC 812 Boston, MA 02114, USA.



Depression is a disorder that causes disability, with a profound adverse impact on all areas of psychosocial functioning. This is particularly true for those with treatment resistant depression (TRD). However, to date, no systematic assessments of psychosocial functioning for patients with TRD have been conducted.


In the present study, we used the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (LIFE) scale to measure psychosocial functioning in 92 patients with TRD. These patients met formal criteria for TRD and were part of a clinical trial examining the efficacy of lithium augmentation of nortriptyline.


Clinicians rated this sample of patients as experiencing mild to moderate impairment in work-related activities, good to fair interpersonal relations, poor level of involvement in recreational activities, and mild impairment of ability to enjoy sexual activity. Patients and clinicians rated global social adjustment as poor.


Patients with formally defined TRD experience significant impairment in psychosocial functioning. In this sample a tendency existed for both clinicians and patients to assign more severely impaired global ratings when compared with ratings for specific functional areas.

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