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Antivir Ther. 2015;20(5):501-6. doi: 10.3851/IMP2931. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Self-reported need for psychotherapy predicts interferon-induced depression in hepatitis C: stratification for interferon-free treatment.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



Interferon (IFN)-induced depression occurs in approximately 30% of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients undergoing pegylated (PEG)-IFN-based antiviral therapy. While IFN-free therapy has been developed, it is not accessible to all CHC patients due to the high costs of treatment. This study evaluated the Assessment of Demand for Additional Psychological Treatment (ADAPT) questionnaire as a screening tool for patients at risk of IFN-induced depression, in order to identify patients who may uniquely benefit from IFN-free regimens.


In this prospective study, consecutive patients being treated for CHC with PEG-IFN-based antiviral therapy were examined for the occurrence of depression during a 12-week treatment period. Using univariate and multivariate regression models, the value of the ADAPT questionnaire, in comparison to the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the patients' psychiatric history was analysed.


A total of 103 patients (59% male; median age 42) were included, of whom 25% (26/103) developed IFN-induced depression during the study period. HADS-Depression (D) subscale (OR=1.187, P=0.003; area under the curve [AUC]=0.690) and ADAPT-Psychotherapy (PT) subscale (OR=1.020, P=0.006; AUC=0.695) showed the highest accuracy for identification of patients at risk for depression. A HADS-D score of ≥7 and an ADAPT-PT score of ≥37.8 showed a similar sensitivity (61.5% versus 57.7%), whereas ADAPT-PT showed a more favourable specificity (68.9% versus 77.4%).


The ADAPT-PT subscale effectively identifies patients at risk for IFN-induced depression and should therefore be taken into account when allocating patients to IFN-free antiviral treatment regimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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