Chae WR, Nagel JM, Kuehl LK, Gold SM, Wingenfeld K, Otte C.

BACKGROUND: Many depressed patients do not achieve response or remission despite adequate treatment. Identifying predictors of outcome can contribute to developing therapeutic algorithms for difficult-to-treat depression. Therefore, we examined clinical predictors of response and remission in a naturalistic inpatient sample undergoing multimodal treatment for depression. METHODS: Three hundred and fifty-one consecutive inpatients admitted to a tertiary care university hospital (specialized psychiatry unit for treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression) between January 2014 and December 2016 were characterized by a set of sociodemographic and clinical variables. The predictive value of these variables for response (≥ 50% decrease from baseline Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score) and remission (MADRS score at discharge < 10) were explored using bivariate analysis and logistic regression. RESULTS: Greater symptom severity and fewer psychotropic medications at the time of admission predicted response. Remission rates were higher for patients with non-chronic depression, higher number of previous depressive episodes, fewer psychotropic medications and less severe depression at admission. LIMITATIONS: This was a retrospective study without a control group. The sample was drawn from a single inpatient ward specialized for difficult-to-treat depression. CONCLUSIONS: Greater baseline depression severity might be a proxy for a less chronic course of depression thereby explaining its association with greater response rates. Fewer episodes in the past and polypharmacy could indicate treatment-resistance and chronicity, contributing to lower remission rates. Therefore, preventing chronicity should be a central aim of depression treatment.

J Affect Disord. 2019 Jun 1;252:99-106

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