Who we are Search Resources Submit a resource Links to sites Discussion Board Contact Us Return to Home
Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

The relationship between gender, lifetime number of depressive episodes, treatment type, and treatment response in chronic depression.

Author: Hess, Anemarie L.
Author Background: Virginia Commonwealth U., US
Date 7/2000
Type Dissertation
Journal Title: Dissertation-Abstracts-International:-Section-B:-The-Sciences-and-Engineering
Volume/Pages Vol 61(1-B): 533
Subject Matter Major Depression; Treatment Outcomes, Gender, Research
Abstract Data from patients diagnosed with chronic or double depression, and who participated in a national multisite study, were examined. This treatment outcome study compared the effectiveness of antidepressant, psychotherapy, and combination treatment. The literature is reviewed and shown to demonstrate the following: chronic depression is the most difficult mood disorder to treat; having experienced three or more lifetime major depressive episodes is a marker predicting poorer response to treatment; the 2:1 female:male prevalence rate in depression exists in the chronic population; and, there is some evidence that more women than men experience a chronic depression that includes a lifetime history of three or more major depressive episodes. Finally, some researchers have hypothesized that women may respond better to combined antidepressant and therapy treatment of depression. Given all of these findings, the variables of gender, number of lifetime major depressive episodes, and treatment type were examined for their contribution to treatment response in this sample. Clinician-rated demographic, baseline, and post-acute phase treatment data were examined. When examined in conjunction with treatment type, there were no significant main effects of gender or lifetime number of major depressive episodes on treatment response, or on reduction of symptom and illness severity. However, it was demonstrated that women who had experienced three or more lifetime MDEs more frequently responded to treatment and had a greater decrease in symptom severity after treatment than did men who had experienced the same level of lifetime MDEs. The main effect of treatment type was significant, with the combined medication and psychotherapy treatment cell proving to have the best response rate, and greatest reduction in symptom and illness severity. Equal numbers of men and women reported having experienced ge;3 MDEs in their life. The above findings are discussed in relation to previous research, and implications for treatment and future investigations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)