[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We test the hypothesis that the functional Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF interacts with recent life events to produce onset of new depressive episodes. We also explore the possibility that the Met allele of this polymorphism interacts with childhood maltreatment to increase the risk of chronic depression.
In a risk-enriched combined sample of unrelated women, childhood maltreatment and current life events were measured with the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse, and Life Events and Difficulties Schedule interviews. Chronic episodes of depression (12 months or longer) during adulthood and onset of a major depressive episode during a 12-month follow-up were established with the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry interview.
Met alleles of BDNF moderated the relationship between recent life events and adult onsets of depression in a significant gene-environment interaction (interaction risk difference 0.216, 95% CI 0.090-0.342; P =.0008). BDNF did not significantly influence the effect of childhood maltreatment on chronic depression in the present sample.
The Met allele of BDNF increases the risk of a new depressive episode following a severe life event. The BDNF and the serotonin transporter gene length polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and BDNF may contribute to depression through distinct mechanisms involving interactions with childhood and adulthood adversity respectively, which may, in combination, be responsible for a substantial proportion of depression burden in the general population.
Depression and Anxiety 12/2013; · 4.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression frequently involves disrupted interpersonal relationships, while treatment with serotonergic anti-depressants can interfere with libido and sexual function. However, little is known about how serotonin activity influences appraisals of intimate partnerships. Learning more could help to specify how serotonergic mechanisms mediate social isolation in psychiatric illness. Forty-four healthy heterosexual adults, currently in romantic relationships, received 8-days treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram (N=21; 10 male) or placebo (N=23; 12 male). Participants viewed photographs of unknown, heterosexual couples and made a series of judgements about their relationships. Participants also indicated the importance of relationship features in their own close partnerships, and close partnerships generally. Citalopram reduced the rated quality of couples' physical relationships, and the importance attributed to physical and intimate aspects of participants' own relationships. By contrast, citalopram also enhanced the evaluated worth of mutual trust in relationships. Amongst males, citalopram was also associated with judgements of reduced turbulence and bickering in others' relationships, and increased male dominance. These data constitute preliminary evidence that enhancing serotonin activity modulates cognitions about sexual activity as part of a reappraisal of sources of value within intimate relationships, enhancing the judged importance of longer-term benefits of trust and shared experiences.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 08/2013; · 5.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Common genetic variants, such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val/66/Met polymorphism (rs6265), are known to interact with environmental factors such as early adversity to increase the risk of subsequent major depression. Much less is known about how they interact with individual differences in cortisol, although these also represent a risk for major depression.
To determine whether this BDNF variant moderated the risk represented by higher levels of morning salivary cortisol in adult women.
We recruited 279 premenopausal women who were at high risk of major depressive disorder because of either negative self-evaluation, unsupportive core relationship or chronic subclinical symptoms of depression or anxiety. Morning salivary cortisol was measured daily for up to 10 days at entry. Participants were followed up for about 12 months by telephone calls at 3-4 monthly intervals. Major depression and severe life events were assessed through interviews at baseline and follow-up; DNA was obtained from the saliva.
There were 53 onsets (19%) of depressive episodes during follow-up. There was a significant U-shaped relationship between adjusted morning cortisol levels at baseline and the probability of depression onset during follow-up. In total, 51% experienced at least one severe life event/difficulty, and this strongly predicted subsequent onsets of depressive episodes. The BDNF Val/66/Met genotype was not directly associated with onsets of depression or with cortisol levels, but there was significant interaction between Val/66/Met and cortisol: the association between baseline cortisol and depression was limited to those with the Val/66/Val variant. There was no interaction between life events and either this BDNF polymorphism or cortisol levels.
Morning salivary cortisol interacts with the BDNF Val/66/Met polymorphism in predicting new depressive episodes. This paper adds to the evidence that single gene polymorphisms interact with endogenous factors to predict depression.
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 07/2012; 201:313-9. · 6.62 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Current NICE depression guidelines recommend a period of 'active monitoring' prior to commencing treatment with antidepressants. The content of consultations during active monitoring or supportive care has not been previously prescribed. METHODS: As part of a randomised trial of supportive care versus supportive care plus SSRI consultation content was measured through patient recall for the purpose of testing equity in content between trial arms. An exploratory analysis of the consultation content measure is presented together with a measure of consultation satisfaction (MISS) and depression severity (HMRD). A score for 'psychoactive consultation content' (PSAC) was generated to enable comparison between groups. RESULTS: 220 patients were randomised in the study. The majority of participants recalled a discussion of practical problems they faced and many reported some element of problem solving; a significant minority reported discussions about changing the way they thought, addressing relationships or talking to trusted friends or family. Consultation content was unrelated to depression outcome although in multivariate analysis it was strongly related to consultation satisfaction. LIMITATIONS: This is a secondary analysis based on patient recall of consultation content. CONCLUSIONS: Supportive care is not a passive process as patients report several potentially therapeutic discussions within the consultation and these occur regardless of whether antidepressants are prescribed. It is not known whether these discussions do have any therapeutic value in this context. Consultation content was unrelated to outcome in this study but did predict satisfaction with the consultation. Further work is required to validate the patient report of consultation content and to identify what if any consultation strategies have therapeutic effect.
Journal of affective disorders 07/2012; · 3.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Close supportive relationships protect against psychological disorders and also facilitate recovery. However, little is known about the neurochemical mechanisms that mediate these effects. Variation in serotonin function influences affiliative behavior in humans and nonhuman primates. Here, we used tryptophan depletion in healthy adults to investigate the role of serotonin in the cognitive appraisal of close personal relationships.
Twenty-two healthy adults drank an amino acid drink without tryptophan, and 19 healthy adults drank an amino acid drink containing tryptophan. Participants were presented with color photographs of heterosexual "couples" standing apart or making affiliative touch gestures and rated the couples for descriptors that capture qualities of close personal relationships. Trait attachment style and state affect of participants were also measured.
Tryptophan depletion reduced the judged intimacy and romance of photographed couples. Tryptophan-depleted women rated men as more dominant in relationships and touching couples as more able to resolve their conflicts, when compared with nondepleted women. These effects were not due to changes in mood and remained statistically reliable when the marked impact of attachment style upon relationship judgments was statistically controlled.
Our results suggest that central serotonin activity influences the appraisal of close intimate partnerships, raising the possibility that serotonergic dysfunction contributes to altered cognitions about relationships in psychiatric illnesses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has found an inverse cross-sectional relationship between an individual's access to social capital (defined as resources embedded within social networks) and depression, but this relationship has not been rigorously tested in prospective research. This is the first longitudinal study to evaluate the effect of social capital on the course of depression and subjective quality of life in a clinical population.
This was a six-month prospective cohort study of people with depression in primary care achieving a follow-up rate of 91.3% (n=158). Depression was measured with the HAD-D and social capital using the Resource Generator-UK. Potential confounding variables including socio-demographics, socio-economic status, depression history, social support, life events and attachment style were also measured.
Social capital had no independent effect on the course of depression, though an interaction of access to social capital and attachment style was significantly related to change in quality of life alongside multiple covariates.
The study used a small sample; a short follow-up period; no measure of ecological social capital; no genetic components; and only two time points.
Emotional support is important for the alleviation of depression. Additionally, people with depression may require a secure attachment style to derive the full benefit of their social capital.
Journal of affective disorders 03/2011; 129(1-3):149-57. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of a needs-led, community-based intervention for treating individuals from black minority ethnic (BME) groups with common mental disorders.
Forty eligible individuals from BME groups were randomised to a needs-led package of care (therapy based on the principles of cognitive behaviour therapy and ethnically matched therapists, advocacy and mentoring; 'rapid access') or to a 3-month waiting list control with information on local mental health services ('standard access').
At 3-month follow-up, individuals in the rapid access group showed significantly improved levels of depression (GHQ-28 adjusted p<0.05) although there was no evidence for difference in general functioning (GAF, p=0.87). The intervention was found to be culturally appropriate and acceptable among users and did not result in significantly increased costs.
The exploratory study sample was small with low power and therefore the statistical certainty may be limited.
Effective and culturally acceptable psychosocial interventions can be delivered in the community to individuals from BME groups with anxiety and depression with no significant cost implications.
Journal of affective disorders 12/2010; 127(1-3):370-4. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of current social risk factors in moderating the impact of antidepressant medication has not previously been explored.
In a RCT of SSRIs of general practice patients with mild to moderate depression (HDRS 12-19) two social indices of aversive experience were developed on the basis of prior research. First, the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS) was used twice to document: i) recent stressful experience prior to baseline, and ii) after baseline and before follow up at 12 weeks both stressful and positive experiences, taking account of 'fresh start' and 'difficulty-reduction' events. Second, an index of unemployment-entrapment at baseline was developed for the current project. The HDRS was used to measure outcome as a continuous score and as a cut-point representing improvement below score 8.
Each social index (LEDS and Unemployment-entrapment) was associated with a lower chance of remission at 12 weeks and each was required to model remission along with treatment arm. However there was no interaction: the degree of increased remission for those randomised to SSRIs plus supportive care compared to that for those with supportive care alone was the same regardless of social context.
Dating of remission was not as thorough as in previous work with the LEDS. Detailed examination of positive experiences suggested the large majority were not the result of remitting symptoms, but it is impossible to rule this out altogether.
Remission rates among patients in aversive social contexts are consistently much lower irrespective of treatment. There is thus a need to evaluate the efficacy of alternative more socially focussed interventions for depressive conditions likely to take a chronic course in general practice.
Journal of affective disorders 08/2009; 121(3):239-46. · 3.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine (1) the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment plus supportive care, versus supportive care alone, for mild to moderate depression in patients with somatic symptoms in primary care; and (2) the impact of the initial severity of depression on effectiveness and relative costs. To investigate the impact of demographic and social variables.
The study was a parallel group, open-label, pragmatic randomised controlled trial.
The study took place in a UK primary care setting. Patients were referred by 177 GPs from 115 practices around three academic centres.
Patients diagnosed with new episodes of depression and potentially in need of treatment. In total, 602 patients were referred to the study team, of whom 220 were randomised.
GPs were asked to provide supportive care to all participants in follow-up consultations 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks after the baseline assessment, to prescribe an SSRI of their choice to patients in the SSRI plus supportive care arm and to continue treatment for at least 4 months after recovery. They could switch antidepressants during treatment if necessary. They were asked to refrain from prescribing an antidepressant to those in the supportive care alone arm during the first 12 weeks but could prescribe to these patients if treatment became necessary.
The primary outcome measure was Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score at 12-week follow-up. Secondary outcome measures were scores on HDRS at 26-week follow-up, Beck Depression Inventory, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36), Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS), modified Client Service Receipt Inventory and medical record data.
SSRIs were received by 87% of patients in the SSRI plus supportive care arm and 20% in the supportive care alone arm. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated statistically significant differences in favour of the SSRI plus supportive care arm in terms of lower HDRS scores and higher scores on the SF-36 and MISS. Significant mean differences in HDRS score adjusted for baseline were found at both follow-up points when analysed separately but were relatively small. The numbers needed to treat for remission (to HDRS > 8) were 6 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4 to 26)] at 12 weeks and 6 (95% CI 3 to 31) at 26 weeks, and for significant improvement (HDRS reduction > or = 50%) were 7 (95% CI 4 to 83) and 5 (95% CI 3 to 13) respectively. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and cost-effectiveness planes suggested that adding an SSRI to supportive care was probably cost-effective. The cost-effectiveness acceptability curve for utility suggested that adding an SSRI to supportive care was cost-effective at the values of 20,000 pounds-30,000 pounds per quality-adjusted life-year. A poorer outcome on the HDRS was significantly related to greater severity at baseline, a higher physical symptom score and being unemployed.
Treatment with an SSRI plus supportive care is more effective than supportive care alone for patients with mild to moderate depression, at least for those with symptoms persisting for 8 weeks and an HRDS score of > or = 12. The additional benefit is relatively small, and may be at least in part a placebo effect, but is probably cost-effective at the level used by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to make judgements about recommending treatments within the National Health Service. However, further research is required.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of the interaction of the serotonin transporter genotype and environment upon adult depression (G x E) have suggested a role for both childhood maltreatment and stressful life events. This paper deals with two main issues. First, do both contribute? Evidence that G x E with childhood maltreatment plays a role is much stronger than that for G x E with life events occurring close to onset, although that for G x E with life events occurring over a 5-year period before the presence of the recorded depression is stronger. However, non-genetic research shows that life events occurring so long before onset as 5 years have little or no relationship with adult depression once childhood maltreatment is taken into account, suggesting they serve as a marker for childhood maltreatment rather than making a direct contribution to G x E. Second, genetic research has dealt only with the presence of depression and taking account of course may radically change ideas about the point at which G x E occurs. Two findings from non-genetic research concerning childhood maltreatment are relevant. Childhood maltreatment is associated with a particularly high risk of an adult onset of depression taking a chronic course (i.e. lasting 12 months or more). Moreover such maltreatment makes a substantial direct contribution - i.e. its link with course is independent of all other childhood and adult risk factors. This is consistent with early changes in brain function associated with the polymorphism in the context of childhood maltreatment explaining the link of such maltreatment with adult chronic episodes. It also follows that restricting analysis to such episodes would increase current estimates of G x E.
Journal of Affective Disorders 07/2008; 111(1):1-12. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This is the final paper of a series concerning parental maltreatment and chronic depression in women. It extends the scope of the analysis to take account of proximal risk factors, present within at most six months of an onset. It deals with the contribution of factors influencing onset of a depressive episode as well as those related to whether this takes a chronic course. Once a two-stage model dealing with both sets of risk factors has been developed we explore how far distal factors (more than at least one year earlier) influence each stage.
Three studies are employed. All take account of parental maltreatment. Two prospective studies deal with proximal risk factors, and a retrospective one with distal and proximal factors.
For the first stage of the model concerning onset the influence of parental maltreatment and its correlated risk factors (e.g. conduct problems) are almost entirely mediated by proximal factors (e.g. quality of core relationships). However, for the second stage concerning course parental maltreatment makes a direct contribution that is independent of all other risk factors.
The retrospective nature of some of the data may introduce bias (But see the second paper in the present series [Brown, G.W., Craig, T.K.J., Harris, T.O., Handley, R.V., Harvey, A.L., 2007b. Validity of retrospective measures of early maltreatment and depressive episodes using the Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse (CECA) instrument - a life-course study of adult chronic depression - 2. J. Affect. Dis., 103, 217-224]). Only females have been considered.
The influence of parental maltreatment on the onset of adult depression is largely indirect and the mechanisms involved are reasonably clear. However, the mechanisms involved in the substantial direct contribution of maltreatment to course are as yet unclear. Some interplay of maltreatment and early brain development is one of a number of interesting possibilities.
Journal of Affective Disorders 03/2008; 110(3):222-33. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This fourth paper of a series of five concerning depression in women considers: i. why parental maltreatment increases risk of highly aversive ('very poor') partnerships, and ii. how far these relationships explain the link of such maltreatment with adult chronic depression.
Data was collected retrospectively by semi-structured interviews and only women living at some point with a partner included.
Parental maltreatment was indirectly linked to chronic depression via highly aversive partnerships. This was partly mediated by childhood conduct problems. However, a broader range of behaviour in late adolescence and early adulthood such as early risky sexual behaviour among those without conduct problems was also involved. In addition parental maltreatment was directly linked to chronic depression, judged by a substantial remaining association when other risk factors were controlled. Highly aversive partnerships were less common by the late 20s while this was matched by an increase of 'very poor' circumstances among those no longer living with a partner. This increase often involved lone motherhood, an established risk factor for chronic depression.
These findings should be seen as tentative given the retrospective nature of many of the measures (But see the second paper in the present series [Brown, G.W., Craig, T.K.J., Harris, T.O., Handley, R.V., & Harvey, A.L. (2007b). Validity of retrospective measures of early maltreatment and depressive episodes using CECA (Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse)--A life-course study of adult chronic depression--2. J. Affect. Disord., 103, 217-224]. Only women were studied.
Parental maltreatment relates indirectly to adult chronic episodes of depression with highly aversive partnerships playing an important mediating role. Parental maltreatment also has a direct link. While these results are broadly consistent with earlier research a more complete understanding of the mechanisms acting across the life-course requires an assessment of a wider range of factors around the time of an onset of depression. This is the task of our next and final paper.
Journal of Affective Disorders 03/2008; 110(1-2):115-25. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Childhood maltreatment among women is related to risk of adult depression and particularly an episode taking a chronic course. This paper explores the aspects of parental behaviour involved.
An expanded version of CECA (Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse), a retrospective interview-based instrument covering neglect as well as various forms of abuse is used to develop a new index of parental maltreatment. Data are derived from an enquiry of sister pairs between early 20s and 50s, comprising a high-risk series (n=118) where the first sister was selected as likely to have experienced childhood abuse or neglect, and a comparison series (n=80) where she was selected at random.
Adverse maternal behaviour emerges as of critical importance for the link with adult chronic depression. Maternal lack of affection ('neglect') and maternal rejection ('emotional abuse') form the core of an index of parental maltreatment, and it is concluded that persistent rejection, particularly from a mother, appears to be the core experience of importance. The findings of behavioural genetics that the experience of siblings of parents in ordinary families often differs have been found to hold for the more extreme behaviour involved in maltreatment. Difference between siblings in risk of later chronic depression is entirely related to such experience.
The study is based on retrospective questioning of adult women. Our next paper considers the possible threats to validity involved [Brown, G.W., Craig, T.K.J., Harris, T.O., Handley, R.V., Harvey, A.L., 2007a. Validity of retrospective measures of early maltreatment and depressive episodes using CECA (Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse) - a life-course study of adult chronic depression - 2. J. Affect. Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.06.003].
Parental maltreatment emerges as a critical determinant of later chronic depressive episodes among adult women.
Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2007; 103(1-3):205-15. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A previous paper, using data collected retrospectively from sister pairs, reported substantial associations of adult depressive episodes lasting at least 12 months with childhood maltreatment [Brown, G.W., Craig, T.K.J., Harris, T.O. Handley, R.V. & Harvey, A.L. 2007a-this issue. Development of a retrospective interview measure of parental maltreatment using the Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse (CECA) instrument - a life-course study of adult chronic depression - 1. J. Affect. Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.05.022]. Risk was far less when depressive episodes of any duration were considered. This paper considers how much scientific weight can be placed on these findings in the light of doubt often expressed about retrospective collection of childhood and adult data.
The retrospectively gathered material was obtained from adult sister pairs within 5 years of age, comprising a high-risk series (n = 118) where the first sister was selected as likely to have experienced childhood abuse or neglect, and a comparison series (n = 80) where she was selected at random. Current age ranged between early 20s and 50s. Data was collected by semi-structured interviews, using investigator-based ratings covering a wide range of parental behaviour and childhood behaviour.
A series of analyses failed to reveal evidence of significant bias in the collection of material about adult depression or parental maltreatment. There was, however, some evidence of under reporting.
Conclusions from such analyses can only be judged in terms of degree of plausibility.
Nothing emerged to suggest the presence of significant bias in the aetiological findings of our earlier paper. There is evidence of some underreporting of both early adverse experience and adult depressive episodes, but this is unlikely to threaten the conclusions drawn about the link of parental maltreatment with adult chronic depressive episodes.
Journal of Affective Disorders 11/2007; 103(1-3):217-24. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An earlier paper [Brown, G.W., Craig, T.K.J., Harris, T.O., Handley, R.V., Harvey, A.L., 2007a-this issue. Development of a retrospective interview measure of parental maltreatment using the Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse (CECA) instrument - a life-course study of adult chronic depression - 1. J. Affect. Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.05.022] documented an association between parental maltreatment and risk of adult chronic depression. This paper explores the contribution of other child-specific factors (e.g. conduct problems) and family-wide factors (e.g. parental discord).
Data are derived from an enquiry of 198 women largely comprising of adult sister pairs. Data was collected by semi-structured interviews covering a wide range of parental behaviour and childhood behaviour.
Parental maltreatment emerged as channelling the effect of family-wide factors on risk of adult chronic depression, but with a child's conduct problems and shame-withdrawal partly mediating this link. A child's depression before 17, although correlated with parental maltreatment, did not appear to play a significant role in adult depression. This core model is supplemented by analyses exploring the mechanisms involved. A mother's rejection/physical abuse and her depression via her lax control, for example, account for the link of parental maltreatment with conduct problems. Also 'rebelliousness' of a child relates to the chances of her low affection moving to rejection. "Rebelliousness" also appears to play a role in why the paired sisters so often had a different experience of maltreatment.
The data is collected retrospectively - but see [Brown, G.W., Craig, T.K.J., Harris, T.O., Handley, R.V., Harvey, A.L., 2007b-this issue. Validity of retrospective measures of early maltreatment and depressive episodes using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) instrument - A life-course study of adult chronic depression - 2. J. Affect. Disord. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2007.06.003].
Child-specific factors play a major role in the origins of adult chronic depressive episodes. This, however, is fully consistent with an equally significant contribution from family-wide factors. The crucial point is that the link of the latter with such depression appears to be indirect and mediated very largely by parental maltreatment.
Journal of Affective Disorders 11/2007; 103(1-3):225-36. · 3.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether individual differences in cortisol contribute to subsequent major depressive disorder (MDD) is unknown.
To determine whether premorbid levels of salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were associated with subsequent MDD and how these related to psychosocial factors known to increase the risk for MDD.
Adult women (n=116) were recruited from general practices. None was currently depressed; 83 were 'psychosocially vulnerable' to MDD, 33 were not. Salivary steroids (cortisol and DHEA at 08.00 h and 20.00 h), recent life events, current mood and social support were assessed at entry. Onset of MDD was recorded during 13 months' follow-up.
There were no associations between salivary cortisol or DHEA and recent life events or vulnerability. Twenty-eight onsets of MDD occurred during the follow-up period. This was associated with: severe adverse life events and difficulties during the follow-up period; mean morning cortisol levels at entry; and the presence of any of three vulnerability factors.
Individual differences in morning salivary cortisol levels may represent an independent risk factor for subsequent MDD. The origin of these differences in cortisol is not yet understood.
The British Journal of Psychiatry 01/2001; 177:505-10. · 6.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Earlier work on the protective role of social support in onset and course of depressive disorder suggested that its provision might be relevant for outcome.
To evaluate volunteer befriending as an intervention among women with chronic depression in inner London.
A randomised controlled trial, with a waiting list control design, with outcome measured as Present State Examination (PSE)-based full or partial remission after one year.
A statistically significant effect upon remission was found for befriending. Other treatments monitored naturalistically did not relate to remission, nor did initial duration of chronic episode or comorbidity, but there was an association with initial PSE score. The findings are discussed in relation to standard drug-trial results and to another befriending intervention with the elderly.
The results are not unpromising. Additional trials with less restricted intake conditions, and in more naturalistic general practice settings, might confirm volunteer befriending as a useful adjunct to current treatments.
The British Journal of Psychiatry 04/1999; 174:219-24. · 6.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Volunteer befriending promoted remission of chronic depression when clinical and other treatment variables were controlled.
To examine the role of other psychosocial factors relevant for outcome.
Factors measured at baseline interview were examined in multivariate analyses along with psychosocial factors occurring during follow-up, such as 'fresh-start' experiences and new severe events and difficulties.
Fresh-start experiences and a standard attachment style were found to enhance chances of remission, with new severe stressors and markedly poor coping strategies liable to prevent it, with volunteer befriending continuing to play a role.
The positive result reported in the preceding paper is unlikely to be an artefact. However, fresh-start experiences, absence of new severe stressors and standard attachment style were more important predictors of remission. This knowledge might profitably be incorporated into the evaluation of existing treatments.
The British Journal of Psychiatry 04/1999; 174:225-32. · 6.61 Impact Factor