Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2008;16(4):225-34. doi: 10.1080/10673220802277938.

Predicting the outcome of antidepressants and psychotherapy for depression: a qualitative, systematic review.

Author information

Depression Research Group, Mentrum Mental Health Care, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


As treatment outcome in depression varies widely, it is important to understand better the predictive value of particular patient characteristics. However, qualitative systematic reviews of the association between easily identifiable patient characteristics and outcome for commonly used treatment options have been unavailable. This article provides an overview of the consistency of findings on the association between sociodemographic factors and depression characteristics, on the one hand, and outcomes of pharmacotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and interpersonal/psychodynamic psychotherapy for major depression, on the other. There were no findings indicating that gender was associated with treatment outcome in the case of tricyclic antidepressants. There are some indications that younger patients respond worse to tricyclics, whereas especially women appeared to have better outcomes with modern antidepressants (selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). Marital status may be related to better outcome in the case of antidepressants and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Longer duration of depression was identified as a negative predictor, most consistently in psychotherapy. In none of the treatment modalities was recurrence a negative predictor. The relation between severity of depression and outcome appeared to be complex, precluding any straightforward inferences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center