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Symptomatic recovery and social functioning in major depression

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Objective: To determine whether social functional recovery precedes, runs in parallel with, or lags behind symptomatic recovery from major depressive episodes.

Method: Psychiatric out-patients or in-patients aged 18 years or over, diagnosed with unipolar major depressive disorder according to DSM-IV, and who had received no antidepressant medication in the preceding 3 months were identified at 23 collaborating centres from all over Japan (n=95). They were rated with the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and the Global Assessment Scale (GAS) monthly, and with the Social Adjustment Scale-Self Report (SAS-SR) 6-monthly. Remission was defined as 7 or less on the HRSD and recovery as 2 or more consecutive months of remission.

Results: The GAS ratings showed continuous amelioration from baseline to remission, remission to recovery, and after sustained recovery. The same trends were observed for SAS-SR scores.

Conclusion: We can expect further amelioration in social adjustment after symptomatic remission and recovery of major depressive episodes.

Keywords: depressive disorders; follow-up studies; prognosis; social adjustment; time factors

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, Nagoya City University Medical School, Nagoya, Japan, 2: Department of Neuropsychiatry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan, 3: Health Science Center for Students, Miyazaki University, Miyazaki, Japan and 4: National Center for Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo and Chiba, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2001


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