L Gniwesch

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States

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Publications (6)35.49 Total impact

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic forms of depression are associated with significant functional and psychosocial impairments. To date, no study has measured psychosocial functioning in this population during long-term maintenance antidepressant treatment or following the double-blind discontinuation of treatment. Patients with chronic major or double depression completed 12 weeks of short-term treatment followed by 16 weeks of continuation treatment with sertraline hydrochloride. Responders at the end of the continuation phase were randomized, double-blind, to 18 months of maintenance therapy with either sertraline (n = 77) or placebo (n = 84). Multiple domains of psychosocial functioning were assessed during double-blind therapy. Substantial worsening in psychosocial function measures occurred in patients taking placebo compared with sertraline during maintenance. Patients with reemergence of depression lost psychosocial gains regardless of treatment. In the subsample of patients who remained in remission throughout maintenance, most of the observed improvement in psychosocial functioning occurred during short-term treatment. By maintenance end point, normalization of functioning was achieved by 58% to 84% of remitters, depending on the outcome measure used. These results indicate that long-term treatment of chronic forms of depression can result in sustained psychosocial benefits. Discontinuation of treatment results in frequent reemergence of symptoms and loss of psychosocial gains. Long-term treatment resulted in only modest further improvement of psychosocial measures over that achieved in the short-term phase.
    Archives of General Psychiatry 09/2002; 59(8):723-8. · 13.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is evidence that antidepressant medication improves social dysfunction during acute treatment in dysthymic patients but it is unknown if the gain in social functioning persists or progresses with longer-term antidepressant treatment. We examine the effect of 6 months of desipramine treatment on social functioning in dysthymic patients. Forty-six subjects with DSM-III-R dysthymia (70% with superimposed major depression) who had responded to 10 weeks of open-label desipramine (DMI) treatment received 16 additional weeks of continuation DMI. Social functioning was measured at weeks 0, 10 and 26 with the Social Adjustment Scale-Self Report. Euthymia was maintained and a marginally significant trend for further improvement in overall social functioning appeared during continuation treatment. Only 24% of subjects achieved normative level of social adjustment after 6 months of DMI treatment. The main limitation was the lack of a placebo control group. Acute improvement in social functioning persists during continuation treatment. However, most dysthymic patients did not achieve a community level of social adjustment. Significant social dysfunction persists in dysthymic patients with low levels of depressive symptomatology after 6 months of intense DMI treatment.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 09/1999; 54(3):283-6. · 3.30 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown the efficacy of antidepressants in the treatment of chronic depression. We report the results of a long-term study comparing desipramine hydrochloride and placebo for maintenance therapy of remitted patients with chronic depression. Outpatients who met DSM-III-R diagnostic criteria for "pure" dysthymia (n = 51), dysthymia with current major depression ("double depression") (n = 64), or chronic major depression (n = 14) were treated on an open basis with desipramine. Full and partial remitters after 10 weeks entered a continuation phase of open treatment with desipramine for 16 weeks. Remitted patients then were randomized to continue desipramine treatment or tapered to placebo treatment for a maintenance phase of up to 2 years. Relapse rates and time to relapse during maintenance therapy were compared between the two treatment groups. Acute-phase treatment results did not differ significantly according to chronic depression subtype. Remission persisted with a high degree of stability during the continuation phase. Relapse rates during the maintenance phase were 52% for the placebo group and 11% for the active desipramine group (chi 2 = 8.1, P = .004). Most placebo relapses occurred during the first 6 months of maintenance therapy. Active medication was significantly more effective than placebo in that subgroup entering the maintenance phase in full remission and in those patients who fulfilled criteria for a diagnosis of pure dysthymia or double depression on entry to the study. Long-term maintenance treatment with desipramine appeared to be effective in the prevention or postponement of relapse of depression in patients who responded to desipramine during the acute and continuation phases.
    Archives of General Psychiatry 10/1996; 53(9):769-74; discussion 775-6. · 13.77 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 430 patients participating in the DSM-IV field trial receiving a DSM-III-R SCID-derived diagnosis of episodic major depression (n = 131), dysthymic disorder (n = 37) and double depression (n = 262) completed the social adjustment scale-self-report (Weissman and Bothwell, 1976). Patients with double depression demonstrated greater social morbidity than those suffering from episodic major depression or dysthymic disorder (P < 0.05). Significant predictors of high social morbidity in double depressives included severity of symptoms (P < 0.0001), followed by age of onset of first major depression (P < 0.04). Subscale analysis revealed that double depressives were significantly more impaired in work outside the home and in terms of their financial status (P < 0.05).
    Journal of Affective Disorders 07/1996; 38(2-3):73-80. · 3.30 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sixty-four of 73 patients with DSM-III-R dysthymia who responded to short-term treatment with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) completed 16 to 20 weeks of continuation therapy on the same medication. Forty-one of 46 full remitters remained in full remission, while 5 became partial remitters during the continuation treatment. Of 18 partial remitters, 8 became fully remitted, 8 remained partial remitters, and 2 relapsed. Thus the stability of remission in dysthymic subjects treated with TCA seems quite favorable during continuation treatment.
    Psychopharmacology bulletin 02/1995; 31(2):213-6. · 1.35 Impact Factor
  • Leah. Gniwesch
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    ABSTRACT: Thesis (Ph. D.)--Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 120-140). Typescript.