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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013 May;48(5):735-44. doi: 10.1007/s00127-012-0572-z. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

Sub-syndromal depression in adolescents attending primary care: frequency, clinical features and 6 months outcome.

Author information

1
The Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial Collage London (St Mary's Campus), Norfolk Place, London, W2 1PGUK, UK. j.gledhill@imperial.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The nature of adolescent sub-syndromal depression has not been investigated in primary care.

AIMS:

To document frequency, characteristics and 6 month outcome of sub-syndromal depression amongst adolescent primary care attenders.

METHOD:

Primary care attenders (13-18 years) completed depression screening questionnaires (Mood and Feelings Questionnaires) at consultation and at 6 month follow-up. Those screening positive were interviewed with the K-SADS. Sub-syndromal depression was defined as high levels of depressive symptoms in the absence of depressive disorder.

RESULTS:

Two hundred and seventy four questionnaires were completed at consultation: the estimated rate of sub-syndromal depression was 25 %. These young people were clinically intermediary between those without depressive symptoms and those with depressive disorder; at 6-months follow-up 57 % had persistent depressive symptoms and 12 % had developed a depressive disorder. Negative life events during the follow-up period and a positive family history of depression were the strongest predictors of symptom persistence and the development of depressive disorder, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Sub-syndromal depression is common and persistent, in adolescent primary care attenders and it deserves attention.

PMID:
22983663
DOI:
10.1007/s00127-012-0572-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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