Doctors have a variety of drug options for treatment of depression. But there is currently no way to determine which antidepressant will work best for a given patient, which means that many people continue to suffer while their doctors try a series of medications. As Marisa Toups and Madhukar H. Trivedi write, however, many researchers have focused their efforts on developing biomarkers for depression—tests for aspects of a patient’s physiology that can predict a clinical outcome. In the future, doctors may be able to screen patients to determine which treatment options will work for them, reducing the time a patient must continue to live with the effects of depression.
Despite years of antidepressant drug development and patient and provider education, suboptimal medication dosing and duration of exposure resulting in incomplete remission of symptoms remains the norm in the treatment of depression. Additionally, since no one treatment is effective for all patients, optimal implementation focusing on the measurement of symptoms, side effects, and function is essential to determine effective sequential treatment approaches. There is a need for a paradigm shift in how clinical decision making is incorporated into clinical practice and for a move away from the trial-and-error approach that currently determines the “next best” treatment. This paper describes how our experience with the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) and the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial has confirmed the need for easy-to-use clinical support systems to ensure fidelity to guidelines. To further enhance guideline fidelity, we have developed an electronic decision support system that provides critical feedback and guidance at the point of patient care. We believe that a measurement-based care (MBC) approach is essential to any decision support system, allowing physicians to individualize and adapt decisions about patient care based on symptom progress, tolerability of medication, and dose optimization. We also believe that successful integration of sequential algorithms with MBC into real-world clinics will facilitate change that will endure and improve patient outcomes. Although we use major depression to illustrate our approach, the issues addressed are applicable to other chronic psychiatric conditions including comorbid depression and substance use disorder as well as other medical illnesses.
Measurement-Based Care; Decision Support Systems; Adaptive Treatment Strategies; Depression
Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects one in five patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and is an independent risk factor for hospitalization and death before and after dialysis initiation. However, it remains an under-recognized and under-treated problem, in part due to the lack of well-controlled studies that support or refute the efficacy and safety of antidepressant medications in CKD patients. Major trials of antidepressant treatment excluded patients with stages 3–5 CKD, precisely those at higher risk for both depression and increased mortality. The Chronic Kidney Disease Antidepressant Sertraline Trial (CAST) is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It will enroll 200 adults with stages 3–5 CKD and MDD excluding kidney transplant and chronic dialysis patients. Sertraline will be administered at an initial dose of 50 mg once daily or matching placebo followed by a dose escalation strategy consisting of 50 mg increments at 2 weeks intervals (as tolerated) to a maximum dose of 200 mg. The primary outcome is improvement in depression symptom severity measured by the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology scale. Secondary outcomes include safety endpoints and improvement in quality of life. Changes in cognitive function, adherence to medications, nutritional status, inflammation, and platelet function will be explored as potential mechanisms by which depression may mediate poor outcomes. We discuss the rationale and design of the CAST study, the largest placebo-controlled trial aimed to establish safety and efficacy of a SSRI in the acute phase treatment of CKD patients with MDD.
depression; chronic kidney disease; sertraline; randomized trial; treatment
To evaluate the prevalence of new onset or worsening of anxiety symptoms, as well as their clinical implications, during the first two weeks of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) pharmacotherapy for depression.
Adult outpatients with non-psychotic major depressive disorder were enrolled in an 8-week acute phase SSRI treatment trial at 15 clinical sites across the US. Worsening anxiety was defined as a greater than 2 point increase on the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) between baseline and Week 2. New onset of anxiety symptoms was ascribed when the BAI baseline rating was 0 and the Week 2 value was greater or equal to 2 points on the BAI.
Overall, after two weeks of treatment, 48.8% (98 of 201 participants) reported improvement in anxiety symptoms, 36.3% (73 of 201) reported minimal symptom change, and 14.9% (30 of 201) reported worsening of anxiety symptoms. No association was found between change in anxiety symptoms within the first two weeks and change in depressive symptoms or remission at the end of 8 weeks of treatment. For participants with clinically meaningful anxiety symptoms at baseline, however, worsening of anxiety during the first two weeks of treatment was associated with worsening depressive symptoms by 8 weeks (p = .054).
The trajectory of anxiety symptom change early in SSRI treatment is an important indicator of eventual outcome for outpatients with major depression and baseline anxiety symptoms.
anxiety; change; depression; SSRI; outcome
A retrospective data analysis was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of baseline characteristics in predicting treatment response to antidepressant medication in 97 outpatients with nonpsychotic major depression treated for up to sixteen weeks with nefazodone. Baseline demographics (gender), illness features (symptom severity, length of illness, length of current episode, number of episodes, age of onset, longitudinal subtype, endogenicity, melancholia, family history of mood disorders), and social features (living status) were evaluated. Response to treatment was defined as a ≥ 50% reduction in the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD17) score. The results of a survival analysis indicated that patients with shorter histories of illness (< 4 years), a negative family history of depression, and those who were either married or were living with someone were more likely to have a positive outcome during the acute phase treatment of depression. The main findings are consistent with extensive previous literature indicating a better short-term outcome of depression where illness is shorter, where there is no family history, and where there is better social support.
antidepressant; treatment predictor; social support; major depression
It has been suggested that patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who display pretreatment features suggestive of bipolar disorder or bipolar spectrum features might have poorer treatment outcomes.
To assess the association between bipolar spectrum features and antidepressant treatment outcome in MDD.
Open treatment followed by sequential randomized controlled trials.
Primary and specialty psychiatric outpatient centers in the United States.
Male and female outpatients aged 18 to 75 years with a DSM-IV diagnosis of nonpsychotic MDD who participated in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study.
Open treatment with citalopram followed by up to 3 sequential next-step treatments.
Main Outcome Measures
Number of treatment levels required to reach protocol-defined remission, as well as failure to return for the postbaseline visit, loss to follow-up, and psychiatric adverse events. For this secondary analysis, putative bipolar spectrum features, including items on the mania and psychosis subscales of the Psychiatric Diagnosis Screening Questionnaire, were examined for association with treatment outcomes.
Of the 4041 subjects who entered the study, 1198 (30.0%) endorsed at least 1 item on the psychosis scale and 1524 (38.1%) described at least 1 recent manic-like/hypomaniclike symptom. Irritability and psychotic-like symptoms at entry were significantly associated with poorer outcomes across up to 4 treatment levels, as were shorter episodes and some neurovegetative symptoms of depression. However, other indicators of bipolar diathesis including recent maniclike symptoms and family history of bipolar disorder as well as summary measures of bipolar spectrum features were not associated with treatment resistance.
Self-reported psychoticlike symptoms were common in a community sample of outpatients with MDD and strongly associated with poorer outcomes. Overall, the data do not support the hypothesis that unrecognized bipolar spectrum illness contributes substantially to antidepressant treatment resistance.
Studies of physical activity and incidence of physician-diagnosed depression have been limited to a single estimate of self-reported physical activity exposure, despite follow-up periods lasting many years.
To examine longitudinal change in cardiorespiratory fitness, an objective marker of habitual physical activity, and incident depression complaints made to a physician.
Cardiorespiratory fitness assessed at four clinic visits between 1971 and 2006, each separated by an average of 2–3 years, was used to objectively measure cumulative physical activity exposure in cohorts of 7936 men and 1261 women, aged 20–85 years, from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who did not complain of depression at their first clinic visit in 1971–2003. Data were analyzed in August 2010.
Across subsequent visits, there were 446 incident cases in men and 153 cases in women. After adjustment for age, time between visits, BMI at each visit, and fitness at Visit 1, each 1-minute decline in treadmill endurance (i.e., a decline in cardiorespiratory fitness of approximately 1 half-MET) between ages 51 and 55 years in men and ages 53 and 56 years in women, increased the odds of incident depression complaints by approximately 2% and 9.5%, respectively. The increased odds remained significant but were attenuated to 1.3% and 5.4% after further adjustment at each visit for smoking, alcohol use, chronic medical conditions, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Maintenance of cardiorespiratory fitness during late middle-age, when decline in fitness typically accelerates, helps protect against the onset of depression complaints made to a physician.
In opioid dependent youth there is substantial attrition from medication-assisted treatment. If youth at risk for attrition can be identified at treatment entry or early in treatment, they can be targeted for interventions to help retain them in treatment.
Opioid dependent adolescents and young adults (n=152), aged 15–21, were randomized to 12 weeks (BUP, n=74) or 2 weeks of detoxification (DETOX, n=78) with buprenorphine/naloxone (Bup/Nal), both in combination with 12 weeks of psychosocial treatment. Baseline and early treatment related predictors of treatment attrition were identified in each group using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.
In the DETOX group 36% left between weeks 2 and 4, at the end of the dose taper, while in the BUP group only 8% left by week 4. In the BUP group, early adherence to Bup/Nal, early opioid negative urines, use of any medications in the month prior to treatment entry, and lifetime non-heroin opioid use were associated with retention while prior 30-day hallucinogen use was associated with attrition. In the DETOX group, only use of sleep medications was associated with retention although not an independent predictor. A broad range of other pre-treatment characteristics was unrelated to attrition.
Prompt attention to those with early non-adherence to medication or an early opioid positive urine, markers available in the first 2 weeks of treatment, may improve treatment retention. Extended Bup/ Nal treatment appeared effective in improving treatment retention for youth with opioid dependence across a wide range of demographics, and pre-treatment clinical characteristics.
Retention; Adherence; Opioid dependence; Youth; Adolescents; Buprenorphine
Both the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD17) and 30-item Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Clinician-rated (IDS-C30) contain a subscale that assesses anxious symptoms. We used classical test theory and item response theory methods to assess and compare the psychometric properties of the two anxiety subscales (HRSDANX and IDS-CANX) in a large sample (N = 3453) of outpatients with non-psychotic major depressive disorder in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study. Approximately 48% of evaluable participants had at least one concurrent anxiety disorder by the self-report Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (PDSQ). The HRSDANX and IDS-CANX were highly correlated (r = 0.75) and both had moderate internal consistency given their limited number of items (HRSDANX Cronbach’s alpha = 0.48; IDS-CANX Cronbach’s alpha = 0.58). The optimal threshold for ascribing the presence/absence of anxious features was found at a total score of eight or nine for the HRSDANX and seven or eight for the IDS-CANX. It would seem beneficial to delete item 17 (loss of insight) from the HRSDANX as it negatively correlated with the scale’s total score. Both the HRSDANX and IDS-CANX subscales have acceptable psychometric properties and can be used to identify anxious features for clinical or research purposes.
depression; anxiety; rating scales; STAR*D; measurement-based care
Psychosocial outcomes from the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression with Venlafaxine ER for Two Years (PREVENT) study were evaluated.
Adult outpatients with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) and response or remission following 6-month continuation treatment with venlafaxine extended release (ER) were randomized to receive venlafaxine ER or placebo for 1 year. Patients without recurrence on venlafaxine ER during year 1 were randomized to venlafaxine ER or placebo for year 2. Psychosocial functioning was assessed using the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire—Short Form (Q-LES-Q), Life EnjoymentScale—Short Version (LES-S), Social Adjustment Scale—Self-Report (SAS-SR) total and individual factors, Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) (vitality, social functioning, and role function-emotional items), and Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (LIFE).
At year 1 end, better overall psychosocial functioning was seen among patients randomly assigned to venlafaxine ER (n=129) vs placebo (n=129), with significant differences at end point on SF-36 role function-emotional, Q-LES-Q, and SAS-SR total, and work, house work, social/leisure, and extended-family factor scores (p≤0.05). At year 2 end, significant differences favored venlafaxine ER (n=43) vs placebo (n=40)on SF-36 vitality and rolefunction-emotional, Q-LES-Q, LES-S, LIFE, and SAS-SR total, social/leisure, and extended-family factor scores (p≤0.05).
Patients with chronic MDD or treatment resistance were excluded and long-term specialist care was a financial incentive for treatment compliance. Discontinuation-related adverse events may have compromised the integrity of the treatment blind.
For patients with recurrent MDD, 2 years’ maintenance therapy with venlafaxine ER may improve psychosocial functioning vs placebo.
Venlafaxine extended release; Psychosocial outcomes; Major depressive disorder; Maintenance treatment
The main aim of the present novel reanalysis of archival data was to compare the time to remission during 12 weeks of treatment of chronic depression following antidepressant medication (n = 218), psychotherapy (n = 216), and their combination (n = 222). Cox regression survival analyses revealed that the combination of medication and psychotherapy produced full remission from chronic depression more rapidly than either of the single modality treatments, which did not differ from each other. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to explore predictors (treatment group, demographic, clinical, and psychosocial) of remission. For those receiving the combination treatment, the most likely to succeed were those with low baseline depression (24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HRSD; M. Hamilton, 1967] score < 26) and those with high depression scores but low anxiety (HRSD ≥ 26 and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale [M. Hamilton, 1959] <14). Both profiles were associated with at least 40% chance of attaining full remission. The model did not identify predictors for those receiving medication or psychotherapy alone, and it did not distinguish between the 2 monotherapies. The authors conclude that combined antidepressant medications and psychotherapy result in faster full remission of chronic forms of major depressive disorder.
chronic depression; remission; psychotherapy; antidepressant medications; combined treatments
We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Prevention of Recurrent Episodes of Depression With Venlafaxine Extended Release (ER) for Two Years (PREVENT) trial to evaluate whether discrepancies between clinician and patient ratings of depression severity were predictive of response, remission, and recurrence during treatment for a depressive episode. Patients who self-rated depression severity in concordance with the clinician (“concordant patients”) were defined as having a standardized patient-rated Inventory of Depressive Symptoms-Self Report (IDS-SR30) score minus standardized clinician-rated Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17) score <1 SD from mean. Non-concordant patients (“underrating patients” [−1 SD], “overrating patients” [+1 SD]) were identified. Cohorts were compared for remission and response on the HAM-D17, Clinician Global Impression–Severity (CGI-S), and IDS-SR30 during acute and continuation therapy and time to recurrence during maintenance therapy. During acute treatment female patients were more likely to overrate their depression severity compared to the clinician; older age predicted overrating during continuation treatment. Overrating patients had a slower onset of response on the HAM-D17 during acute treatment (P = 0.004). There were no differences between cohorts for remission or response on the HAM-D17 or CGI-S. Overrating patients at week 10 had lower remission and response rates on the IDS-SR30 during continuation therapy (32% and 50%, respectively; P ≤ 0.001) compared with underrating patients (76%, 77%) or concordant patients (64%, 78%). Patient concordance at the end of continuation therapy did not predict recurrence during maintenance therapy, indicating that patient rating scales may be useful in tracking recurrence during maintenance therapy. Poor agreement between patient- and clinician-ratings of depression severity is primarily a state phenomenon, although it is trait-like for some patients.
Depression; Psychiatric status rating scales; Reliability and validity; Outcome assessment; Treatment outcome; Anxiety
Little is known about the quantity or quality of residual depressive symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have responded but not remitted with antidepressant treatment. This report describes the residual symptom domains and individual depressive symptoms in a large representative sample of outpatients with nonpsychotic MDD who responded without remitting after up to 12 weeks of citalopram treatment in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study. Response was defined as 50% or greater reduction in baseline 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology—Self-Report (QIDS-SR16) by treatment exit, and remission as a final QIDS-SR16 of less than 6. Residual symptom domains and individual symptoms were based on the QIDS-SR16 and classified as either persisting from baseline or emerging during treatment. Most responders who did not remit endorsed approximately 5 residual symptom domains and 6 to 7 residual depressive symptoms. The most common domains were insomnia (94.6%), sad mood (70.8%), and decreased concentration (69.6%). The most common individual symptoms were midnocturnal insomnia (79.0%), sad mood (70.8%), and decreased concentration/decision making (69.6%). The most common treatment-emergent symptoms were midnocturnal insomnia (51.4%) and decreased general interest (40.0%). The most common persistent symptoms were midnocturnal insomnia (81.6%), sad mood (70.8%), and decreased concentration/decision making (70.6%). Suicidal ideation was the least common treatment-emergent symptom (0.7%) and the least common persistent residual symptom (17.1%). These findings suggest that depressed outpatients who respond by 50% without remitting to citalopram treatment have a broad range of residual symptoms. Individualized treatments are warranted to specifically address each patient's residual depressive symptoms.
depression; STAR*D; residual; symptoms; treatment response
The objective of this manuscript is to report associations between baseline depressive severity and (1) baseline sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, (2) treatment outcomes, and (3) differential outcomes for three treatment groups. Six hundred and sixty-five outpatients with nonpsychotic, major depressive disorder were prospectively randomized to treatment with either a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) monotherapy (escitalopram plus placebo) or one of two antidepressant medication combinations (bupropion-sustained release plus escitalopram, or venlafaxine-extended release plus mirtazapine). For purposes of these analyses, participants were divided into four groups based on baseline severity by the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR16) total score: mild (0–10) [N=81], moderate (11–15) [N=238], severe (16–20) [N=260] and very severe (21–27) [N=67]. Treatment outcomes at 12 and 28 weeks were compared among the four severity groups. A history of childhood neglect and/or abuse was strongly associated with the severity of adult depression (1/2 of participants in the very severy group versus 1/5–1/4 of those in the mild group reported abuse and/or neglect). The degree of suicidality (e.g., 15/.4% of the very severe group ever attempted suicide versus none in the mild group), the number of suicide attempts (e.g., mean of .41 +/− 1.99 suicide attempts in the severe group versus o.o +/−0.0 in the mild group) and severity of suicidality (e.g., 9.2% of participants in very severe group had a plan or made a gesture versus 5.6% in moderate group and none in the mild group) were increased in more severe groups. Participants with a greater baseline depressive severity reported significantly more psychiatric comorbitities (e..g. [at p < 0.05] increased rates of agoraphobia, bulimia, generalized anxiety, hypocondriasis, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia and somatoform disorder, with 23.9 % of participants in the very severe group having reported four or more psychiatric disorders versus 1.2% of the mild group). Combination medication treatments were no more effective in treating severe depressions than was SSRI monotherapy. Remission (61.7% of participants in the mild group achieved remission versus 28.4% in the very severe group) is more difficult to achieve in more severe groups than is response (48.8% of participants in the mild group achieved response versus 58.2% in the very severe group) (p < 0.03) . These data may help us to understand the impact of baseline features on antidepressant medication effectiveness and to inform the personalization of depression treatment across the spectrum of depressive severity.
Depression; abuse; suicide; combination treatment severity; response; remission
The co-occurrence of substance use disorder (SUD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) is common and is often thought to impair response to antidepressant therapy. These patients are often excluded from clinical trials, resulting in a significant knowledge gap regarding optimal pharmacotherapy for the treatment of MDD with concurrent SUD.
In the Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes study, 665 adult outpatients with chronic and/or recurrent MDD were prospectively treated with either escitalopram monotherapy (escitalopram and placebo) or an antidepressant combination (venalfaxine-XR and mirtazapine or escitalopram and bupropion-SR). Participants with MDD and concurrent SUD (13.1%) were compared to those without SUD (86.9%) on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics at baseline and treatment response at 12-week and 28-week endpoints.
The participants with MDD and SUD were more likely to be male and have current suicidal thoughts/plans, and had a greater lifetime severity and number of suicide attempts, and a higher number of concurrent Axis I disorders, particularly concurrent anxiety disorders. There were no significant differences between the MDD with or without SUD groups in terms of dose, time in treatment, response or remission at week 12 and 28. Furthermore, no significant differences in response or remission rates were noted between groups on the basis of the presence or absence of SUD and treatment assignment.
Although significant baseline sociodemographic and clinical differences exist, patients with MDD and concurrent SUD are as likely to respond and remit to a single or combination antidepressant treatment as those presenting without SUD.
major depressive disorder; substance use disorder; dual diagnosis; combination antidepressants; treatment outcome
Although the selection of appropriate clinical sites has a significant impact on the successful conduct of clinical trials, no generally accepted model is available for site selection. Use of an appropriate site selection process is even more pertinent when conducting large scale, practical clinical trials in practice settings.
This report provides a rationale for selecting sites by identifying both a set of basic site selection criteria important to most trials as well as criteria specific to the features of a particular study’s design. In this two-tier system, although all these criteria must be met, some criteria are firm and viewed as essential for a site to conduct the trial. Other criteria, such as those that support study recruitment or participant retention, are flexible. These flexible criteria may be addressed through several alternative solutions that meet the original intent of the criterion.
We illustrate how the study specific features and requirements of Stimulant Reduction Intervention using Dosed Exercise (STRIDE), a multisite clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of exercise or health education, added to treatment as usual for stimulant abuse are linked to firm and flexible site selection criteria. We also present an iterative, multi-step approach to site selection including building awareness about the study and screening and evaluating sites using these criteria.
This simple model could maximize the chance that selected sites will implement a study successfully and achieve trial aims. It may be helpful to researchers who are developing criteria and methods for site selection for specific clinical trials.
Site selection; clinical trials; effectiveness; efficacy; substance use; exercise
There is growing evidence suggesting that early adversity may be a marker for a distinct pathway to major depressive disorder (MDD). We examined associations between childhood adversity and a broad variety of clinical characteristics and response to pharmacotherapy in a large sample of patients with chronic forms of MDD.
Subjects included 808 patients with chronic forms of MDD (chronic MDD, double depression, or recurrent MDD with incomplete recovery between episodes and a total continuous duration of >2 years) who were enrolled in a 12-week open-label trial of algorithm-guided pharmacotherapy. Baseline assessments included a semi-structured diagnostic interview, and clinician- and self-rated measures of depressive symptoms, social functioning, depressotypic cognitions, and personality traits, and childhood adversity. Patients were re-evaluated every 2 weeks.
A longer duration of illness; earlier onset; greater number of episodes, symptom severity, self-rated functional impairment, suicidality, and comorbid anxiety disorder; and higher levels of dysfunctional attitudes and self-criticism were each associated with multiple forms of childhood adversity. A history of maternal overcontrol, paternal abuse, paternal indifference, sexual abuse, and an index of clinically significant abuse each predicted a lower probability of remission. Among patients completing the 12-week trial, 32% with a history of clinically significant abuse, compared to 44% without such a history, achieved remission.
These findings indicate that a history of childhood adversity is associated with an especially chronic form of MDD that is less responsive to antidepressant pharmacotherapy.
major depression; mood disorders; childhood maltreatment; clinical features; treatment response
During a multisite, NIMH-sponsored clinical trial entitled, “Research Evaluating the Value of Augmentation of Medication by Psychotherapy” (REVAMP), we assessed the adequacy of prior antidepressant treatment in patients with chronic forms of major depressive disorder using the Antidepressant Treatment History Form (ATHF). We hypothesized that when compared to earlier studies treatment adequacy would not have increased over the past decade.
We found that only 33% of the 801 subjects enrolled had ever had a prior adequate trial of antidepressant medication. Patients significantly more likely to have received prior adequate antidepressant trials were older, married, white, had a longer duration of illness, had more melancholic features or met criteria for the melancholic subtype or met lifetime criteria for panic disorder.
The hypothesis that rates of treatment adequacy have not significantly increased over the past decade was supported. These results and the consistency of similar results over time point to the dire need for patient and provider education regarding the signs and symptoms of depression and its treatment.
Depression; Chronic; Treatment; Pharmacotherapy
Previous studies have found that few chronically depressed patients remit with antidepressant medications alone.
To determine the role of adjunctive psychotherapy in the treatment of chronically depressed patients with less than complete response to an initial medication trial.
This trial compared 12 weeks of (1) continued pharmacotherapy and augmentation with cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP), (2) continued pharmacotherapy and augmentation with brief supportive psychotherapy (BSP), and (3) continued optimized pharmacotherapy (MEDS) alone. We hypothesized that adding CBASP would produce higher rates of response and remission than adding BSP or continuing MEDS alone.
Eight academic sites.
Chronically depressed patients with a current DSM-IV–defined major depressive episode and persistent depressive symptoms for more than 2 years.
Phase 1 consisted of open-label, algorithm-guided treatment for 12 weeks based on a history of antidepressant response. Patients not achieving remission received next-step pharmacotherapy options with or without adjunctive psychotherapy (phase 2). Individuals undergoing psychotherapy were randomized to receive either CBASP or BSP stratified by phase 1 response, ie, as nonresponders (NRs) or partial responders (PRs).
Main Outcome Measures
Proportions of remitters, PRs, and NRs and change on Hamilton Scale for Depression (HAM-D) scores.
In all, 808 participants entered phase 1, of which 491 were classified as NRs or PRs and entered phase 2 (200 received CBASP and MEDS, 195 received BSP and MEDS, and 96 received MEDS only). Mean HAM-D scores dropped from 25.9 to 17.7 in NRs and from 15.2 to 9.9 in PRs. No statistically significant differences emerged among the 3 treatment groups in the proportions of phase 2 remission (15.0%), partial response (22.5%), and non-response (62.5%) or in changes on HAM-D scores.
Although 37.5% of the participants experienced partial response or remitted in phase 2, neither form of adjunctive psychotherapy significantly improved outcomes over that of a flexible, individualized pharmacotherapy regimen alone. A longitudinal assessment of later-emerging benefits is ongoing.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00057551
No consensus is available for identifying the best primary outcome for substance abuse trials. While abstinence is the most desirable outcome for substance use interventions, a wide variety of other endpoints have been used to evaluate efficacy trials.
This report provides a framework for determining an optimal primary endpoint and the relevant measurement approach for substance use disorder treatment trials. The framework was developed based on a trial for stimulant abuse using exercise as an augmentation treatment, delivered within the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. The use of a common primary endpoint across trials will facilitate comparisons of treatment efficacy.
Primary endpoint options in existing substance abuse studies were evaluated. This evaluation included surveys of the literature for endpoints and measurement approaches, followed by assessment of endpoint choices against study design issues, population characteristics, tests of sensitivity and tests of clinical meaningfulness.
We concluded that the best current choice for a primary endpoint is percent days abstinent, as measured by the Time Line Follow Back (TLFB) interview conducted three times a week with recall aided by a take-home Substance Use Diary. To further improve the accuracy of the self-reported drug use, an algorithm will be applied to reconcile the results from the TLFB with the results of qualitative urine drug screens.
There is a need for a standardized endpoint in this field to allow for comparison across treatment studies, and we suggest that the recommended endpoint be considered for use in this field.
cocaine abuse; methamphetamine abuse; measurement; abstinence endpoint; exercise
Irritability is common during major depressive episodes, but its clinical significance and overlap with symptoms of anxiety or bipolar disorder remains unclear. We examined clinical correlates of irritability in a confirmatory cohort of Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study participants with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Logistic regression was used to identify features associated with presence of irritability on the clinician-rated Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology.
Of 2,307 study participants, 1067(46%) reported irritability at least half the time during the preceding week; they were more likely to be female, to be younger, to experience greater depression severity and anxiety, and to report poorer quality of life, prior suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation. Bipolar spectrum features were not more common among those with irritability.
Irritable depression is not a distinct subtype of MDD, but irritability is associated with greater overall severity, anxiety comorbidity, and suicidality.
major depressive disorder; bipolar disorder; diagnosis; irritability; anger; suicide
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in pregnancy, or antenatal depression poses unique treatment challenges and has serious consequences for mothers, unborn babies, and families when untreated. This review presents current knowledge on exercise during pregnancy, antidepressant effects of exercise, and the rationale for the specific study of exercise for antenatal depression.
A systematic literature review was performed using English language articles published in Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library from 1985 to January 2010.
There is a broad literature supporting the antidepressant effects of exercise, but a paucity of studies specifically for antenatal depression. A small number of observational studies have reported that regular physical activities improve self-esteem and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression during pregnancy. To date, there have not been randomized controlled studies of exercise for the treatment of MDD in pregnant women.
Systematic studies are needed to assess exercise as a treatment alternative for MDD during pregnancy. In consideration of the benefits of exercise for the mother and baby, and the burden of depression, studies are needed to determine the role of exercise for pregnant women with depression.
Exercise; Physical Activity; Pregnancy; Postpartum; Mood; Depression; Gestational Diabetes; Preeclampsia
Missing data in clinical efficacy and effectiveness trials continue to be a major threat to the validity of study findings. The purpose of this report is to describe methods developed to ensure completion of outcome assessments with public mental health sector subjects participating in a longitudinal, repeated measures study for the treatment of major depressive disorder. We developed longitudinal assessment procedures that included telephone-based clinician interviews in order to minimize missing data commonly encountered with face-to-face assessment procedures.
A pre-planned, multi-step strategy was developed to ensure completeness of data collection. The procedure included obtaining multiple pieces of patient contact information at baseline, careful education of both staff and patients concerning the purpose of assessments, establishing good patient rapport, and finally being flexible and persistent with phone appointments to ensure the completion of telephone-based follow-up assessments. A well-developed administrative and organizational structure was also put in place prior to study implementation.
The assessment completion rate for the primary outcome for 310 of 504 subjects who enrolled and completed 52 weeks (at the time of manuscript) of telephone-based follow-up assessments was 96.8%.
By utilizing telephone-based follow-up procedures and adapting our easy-to-use pre-defined multi-step approach, researchers can maximize patient data retention in longitudinal studies.
telephone assessments; follow-up strategies; rapport; longitudinal study; retention; patient contact; appointment adherence; compliance
The clinician-rated (QIDS-C16) and self-report (QIDS-SR16) versions of the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology have been extensively examined in adult populations. This study evaluated both versions of the QIDS and the 17-item Children’s Depressive Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) in an adolescent outpatient sample.
Both the QIDS-C16 and QIDS-SR16 were completed for the adolescents. Three different methods were used to complete the QIDS-C16: (a) adolescents’ responses to clinician interviews; (b) parents’ responses to clinician interview; and (c) a composite score using the most pathological response from the two interviews. Both classical and item response theory methods were used. Factor analyses evaluated the dimensionality of each scale.
The sample included 140 adolescent outpatients. All versions of the QIDS, save the parent interview, and the CDRS-R were very reliable (α ≥ 0.8). All four versions of the QIDS are reasonably effective and unidimensional. The CDRS-R was clearly at least two-dimensional. The CDRS-R was the most discriminating among low and extremely high levels of depression. The QIDS-SR16 was the most discriminating at moderate levels of depression. There was no relation between the QIDS scores and concurrent Axis III comorbidities.
The QIDS-C16 and the QIDS-SR16 are suitable for use in adolescents.
Adolescent; depression; depressive symptom ratings; psychometrics; Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology–Clinician-rated; Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology–Self-report
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) experience increased rates of hospitalization and death. Depressive disorders are associated with morbidity and mortality. Whether depression contributes to poor outcomes in patients with CKD not receiving dialysis is unknown.
To determine whether the presence of a current major depressive episode (MDE) is associated with poorer outcomes in patients with CKD.
Design, Setting, and Patients
Prospective cohort study of 267 consecutively recruited outpatients with CKD (stages 2–5 and who were not receiving dialysis) at a VA medical center between May 2005 and November 2006 and followed up for 1 year. An MDE was diagnosed by blinded personnel using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria.
Main Outcome Measures
The primary outcome was event-free survival defined as the composite of death, dialysis initiation, or hospitalization. Secondary outcomes included each of these events assessed separately.
Among 267 patients, 56 had a current MDE (21%) and 211 did not (79%). There were 127 composite events, 116 hospitalizations, 38 dialysis initiations, and 18 deaths. Events occurred more often in patients with an MDE compared with those without an MDE (61% vs 44%, respectively, P=.03). Four patients with missing dates of hospitalization were excluded from survival analyses. The mean (SD) time to the composite event was 206.5 (19.8) days (95% CI, 167.7–245.3 days) for those with an MDE compared with 273.3 (8.5) days (95% CI, 256.6–290.0 days) for those without an MDE (P=.003). The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for the composite event for patients with an MDE was 1.86 (95% CI, 1.23–2.84). An MDE at baseline independently predicted progression to dialysis (HR, 3.51; 95% CI, 1.77–6.97) and hospitalization (HR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.23–2.95).
The presence of an MDE was associated with an increased risk of poor outcomes in CKD patients who were not receiving dialysis, independent of comorbidities and kidney disease severity.