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Study: Predictions of MDD Are Multifactorial

Depress Anxiety; ePub 2018 Dec 5; van Bronswijk, et al

Long‐term predictions of major depressive disorder (MDD) are multifactorial, involving a combination of variables that each has a small prognostic effect, a recent study found. If replicated and validated, the prognostic index (PI) can be implemented to predict follow‐up depression severity for each individual after acute treatment response, and to personalize long‐term treatment strategies. Data come from responders to cognitive therapy (CT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) in a randomized clinical trial (n=85; CT=45, IPT=40). Primary outcome was depression severity, assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory II, measured throughout a 17‐month follow‐up phase. Researchers examined 29 variables as potential predictors, using a model‐based recursive partitioning method and bootstrap resampling in conjunction with backwards elimination. The selected predictors were combined into a PI and individual PI scores were estimated using a cross‐validation approach. They found:

  • A total of 3 post‐treatment predictors were identified: depression severity, hopelessness, and self‐esteem.
  • Cross‐validated PI scores evidenced a strong correlation (r = 0.60) with follow‐up depression severity.


van Bronswijk SC, Lemmens LHJM, Keefe JR, Huibers MJH, DeRubeis RJ, Peeters FPML. A prognostic index for long‐term outcome after successful acute phase cognitive therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy for major depressive disorder. [Published online ahead of print December 5, 2018]. Depress Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.22868.

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