Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Patients’ Ability to Identify Happy, Sad Faces Not Tied to Depressive Symptoms

Key clinical point: Misclassifying ambiguous facial expressions as happy could be an indicator of depression but is not associated with depressive symptoms.

Major finding: Researchers found no evidence that identifying facial expressions as happy or sad was associated with depressive symptoms in adults with depression.

Study details: The data come from a prospective cohort study of 509 adults with depressive symptoms who visited primary care clinics in the United Kingdom.

Disclosures: The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, as well as the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Bristol, and University College London. Lead author Jessica K. Bone had no financial conflicts.


Bone JK et al. J Affect Disord. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.06.025.