Predicting delayed anxiety and depression in patients with gastrointestinal cancer.
The aim of this study was to examine the possibility of predicting anxiety and depression 6 months after a cancer diagnosis on the basis of measures of anxiety, depression, coping and subjective distress associated with the diagnosis and to explore the possibility of identifying individual patients with high levels of delayed anxiety and depression associated with the diagnosis. A consecutive series of 159 patients with gastrointestinal cancer were interviewed in connection with the diagnosis, 3 months (non-cured patients only) and 6 months later. The interviews utilized structured questionnaires assessing anxiety and depression [Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale], coping [Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC) scale] and subjective distress [Impact of Event (IES) scale]. Patient anxiety and depression close to the diagnosis were found to explain approximately 35% of the variance in anxiety and depression that was found 6 months later. The addition of coping and subjective distress measures did little to improve that prediction. A model using (standardized) cut-off scores of moderate to high anxiety, depression (HAD) and intrusive thoughts (IES subscale) close to the diagnosis to identify patients at risk for delayed anxiety and depression achieved a sensitivity of 75% and a specificity of 98%. Levels of anxiety and depression at diagnosis predicted a similar status 6 months later. The results also indicated that the HAD scale in combination with the IES intrusion subscale may be used as a tool for detecting patients at risk of delayed anxiety and depression. (+info)
Executive function in depression: the role of performance strategies in aiding depressed and non-depressed participants.
OBJECTIVES: Depression has been found to be associated with dysfunction in executive processes, whereas relatively automatic processes are thought to remain intact. Failure to generate or implement adequate performance strategies has been postulated in depressed participants. The present study investigated spontaneous strategy usage in depressed and control participants, and the effectiveness of providing a hint about performance strategies. METHODS: Unipolar depressed participants were compared with matched healthy controls on three tasks sensitive to executive function: memory for categorised words, response suppression, and multiple scheduling. Participants in each group were randomly allocated to strategy aid and no strategy aid conditions. Those in the strategy aid condition were given a hint about the use of an appropriate performance strategy for each task, in addition to the standard instructions given to those in the no strategy aid condition. RESULTS: Depressed participants performed worse than controls on each of the three tasks, and were found to use appropriate performance strategies less often. Provision of strategy hints increased the use of performance strategies in two of the three tasks, memory for categorised words, and response suppression, but did not significantly improve overall performance for either group. CONCLUSIONS: The findings were consistent with the view that depressed participants fail to use appropriate performance strategies spontaneously to the same extent as controls. However, provision of information alone does not seem to be an adequate means of enhancing performance. The role of performance strategies in cognitive impairment in depression is discussed, both in terms of initiating use of such strategies and carrying these out efficiently. (+info)
Ten year follow-up of depression after diagnosis in general practice.
BACKGROUND: Depression is a serious illness with a high recurrence rate, mortality, and suicide rate, and a substantial loss of quality of life. Long-term course of depression, in particular of patients not referred to specialist care, is not completely clear. We performed a study in which the course of depression in general practice was studied for 10 years after the first diagnosis. AIM: To learn more about long-term course and outcome of patients with depressive illness for a full 10 years after diagnosis. METHOD: A historic cohort study with 386 patients classified as depressive before January 1984, recruited from four general practices belonging to the Continuous Morbidity Registry of the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. This cohort was followed up for 10 years. Mortality was compared with a control group matched for age, sex, social class, and practice. Of 222 patients out of this cohort who could be followed up for a full 10 years after diagnosis, the case records were studied in detail. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was found in mortality between the 386 patients and the control group. Recurrence of depressive episodes did not occur in about 60% of the 222 patients (confidence interval 54% to 67%). Of the depressive patients, 15% were referred to secondary care and 9% were admitted to hospital. CONCLUSION: Mortality, suicide, and recurrence rate were lower than expected, taking into account what is known from depression studies in psychiatry. These results stress the importance of long-term prospective follow-up studies of all patients with depression because of the emphasis on case-finding and treatment without exact knowledge of long-term course and outcome of patients who were not referred. (+info)
The impact of depression on the physical health of family members.
BACKGROUND: Depressive illness is common. Depression in one family member is associated with an increased incidence of psychopathology in other family members. There are no data on the physical well being of the families of depressed individuals. AIM: To compare physical morbidity of family members of depressed patients with that of family members of comparison patients. METHOD: A comparative follow-up study from case notes. Two hundred and one subjects from 88 families with an index family member diagnosed with depression ('depression families') were compared with 200 subjects from 88 families with a matched index subject without depression ('comparison families'), using the Duke University Illness Severity Scores (ISS) to assess burden of illness experienced by both groups. RESULTS: The cumulative incidence of depression over 11 months in depression families was 8.9% compared to 1.4% in the Family Practice Unit as a whole. Members of depression families had significantly greater ISS than members of comparison families (difference in means = 0.164; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.113-0.215; P < 0.001). Excluding family members with depression (in addition to the index subject), ISS of members of depression families remained significantly greater than the comparison group (difference in means = 0.136; 95% CI 0.083-0.189; P < 0.001). Among depression families, mean ISS was significantly higher after presentation of depression in index subjects compared with before (difference in means = 0.155; 95% CI 0.115-0.194; P < 0.0001). No significant difference was seen between ISS of depression and comparison families before presentation of depression (difference in means = 0.008; 95% CI -0.004-0.058; P = 0.74). CONCLUSION: Depression in patients is associated with increased physical morbidity in their families. (+info)
Modeling geriatric depression in animals: biochemical and behavioral effects of olfactory bulbectomy in young versus aged rats.
Geriatric depression exhibits biological and therapeutic differences relative to early-onset depression. We studied olfactory bulbectomy (OBX), a paradigm that shares major features of human depression, in young versus aged rats to determine mechanisms underlying these differences. Young OBX rats showed locomotor hyperactivity and a loss of passive avoidance and tactile startle. In contrast, aged OBX animals maintained avoidance and startle responses but showed greater locomotor stimulation; the aged group also exhibited decreased grooming and suppressed feeding with novel presentation of chocolate milk, effects which were not seen in young OBX. These behavioral contrasts were accompanied by greater atrophy of the frontal/parietal cortex and midbrain in aged OBX. Serotonin transporter sites were increased in the cortex and hippocampus of young OBX rats, but were decreased in the aged OBX group. Cell signaling cascades also showed age-dependent effects, with increased adenylyl cyclase responses to monoaminergic stimulation in young OBX but no change or a decrease in aged OBX. These data indicate that there are biological distinctions in effects of OBX in young and aged animals, which, if present in geriatric depression, provide a mechanistic basis for differences in biological markers and drug responses. OBX may provide a useful animal model with which to test therapeutic interventions for geriatric depression. (+info)
Sustained antidepressant effect of sleep deprivation combined with pindolol in bipolar depression. A placebo-controlled trial.
Total sleep deprivation (TSD) shows powerful but transient clinical effects in patients affected by bipolar depression. Pindolol blocks the serotonergic 5-HT1A autoreceptor, thus improving the antidepressant effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. We evaluated the interaction of TSD and pindolol in the treatment of acute episodes of bipolar depression. Forty bipolar depressed inpatients were randomized to receive pindolol 7.5 mg/day or placebo for nine days in combination with three consecutive TSD cycles. Pindolol significantly improved the antidepressant effect of TSD, and prevented the short-term relapse after treatment. The response rate (HDRS scores < 8) at the end of treatment was 15/20 for pindolol, and 3/20 for placebo. Coadministration of pindolol and TSD resulted in a complete response, which could be sustained for six months with lithium salts alone, in 65% of cases. This results suggest a major role for serotonergic transmission in the mechanism of action of TSD, and makes TSD treatment more effective in the treatment of bipolar depression. (+info)
Depression during the longitudinal course of schizophrenia.
This prospective research investigated the occurrence and persistence of depression during the longitudinal course of schizophrenia. The research goals were to (1) compare depression in schizophrenia with that in schizoaffective and major depressive disorders, (2) assess whether some schizophrenia patients are vulnerable to depression, and (3) assess the relationship of depression to posthospital adjustment in schizophrenia. A total of 70 schizophrenia, 31 schizoaffective depressed, 17 psychotic unipolar major depressed, and 69 nonpsychotic unipolar major depressed patients were assessed during hospitalization and prospectively assessed for depression, psychosis, and posthospital functioning at 4.5- and 7.5-year followups. A large number (30% to 40%) of schizophrenia patients evidenced full depressive syndromes at each followup, including a subgroup of patients who evidenced repeated depression. Even when considering the influence of psychosis on outcome, depression in schizophrenia was associated with poor overall outcome, work impairment, lower activity, dissatisfaction, and suicidal tendencies. During the post-acute phase assessed, neither the rates nor the severity of depressive syndromes differentiated depression in schizophrenia from schizodepressive or major depressive disorders. However, the depressed schizophrenia patients showed poorer posthospital adjustment in terms of less employment, more rehospitalizations, and more psychosis than the patients with primary major depression. The high prevalence of depression in schizophrenia warrants its incorporation into theory about the disorder. A continuum of vulnerability to depression contributes to the heterogeneity of schizophrenia, with some schizophrenia patients being prone to depression even years after the acute phase. Depression in schizophrenia is one factor, in addition to psychosis, associated with poor outcome and requires specific attention to the treatment strategies by psychiatrists. (+info)
Effects of fluoxetine on the polysomnogram in outpatients with major depression.
This study investigated the effects of open-label fluoxetine (20 mg/d) on the polysomnogram (PSG) in depressed outpatients (n = 58) who were treated for 5 weeks, after which dose escalation was available (< or = 40 mg/d), based on clinical judgment. Thirty-six patients completed all 10 weeks of acute phase treatment and responded (HRS-D < or = 10). PSG assessments were conducted and subjective sleep evaluations were gathered at baseline and at weeks 1, 5, and 10. Of the 36 subjects who completed the acute phase, 17 were reevaluated after 30 weeks on continuation phase treatment and 13 after approximately 7 weeks (range 6-8 weeks) following medication discontinuation. Acute phase treatment in responders was associated with significant increases in REM latency, Stage 1 sleep, and REM density, as well as significant decreases in sleep efficiency, total REM sleep, and Stage 2 sleep. Conversely, subjective measures of sleep indicated a steady improvement during acute phase treatment. After fluoxetine was discontinued, total REM sleep and sleep efficiency were found to be increased as compared to baseline. (+info)