Determinants of persistence of major or depressive episodes in the general population. Results from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS)
SourceJournal of Affective Disorders, 81, 3, (2004), pp. 231-240
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Affective Disorders
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Background: Data on determinants of persistence of major depressive episodes (MDE) are inconsistent due to methodological shortcomings of the studies involved. Aims: To examine determinants of persistence of MDE in subjects from the general population (N = 250) with new episodes of DSM-III-R major depression. Method: The Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study is a prospective epidemiologic survey in the adult population (N = 7076), using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). A broad range of potential determinants was assessed. Results: Determinants of persistence were severity of the index episode, longer duration of previous episodes, (chronic) physical illness and lack of social support. A recurrent episode predicted shorter duration. Limitations: Follow-up was only 2 years and duration of episode was retrospectively assessed. Conclusions: Just as in clinical populations, illness-related factors seem to be the strongest predictors of persistence of MDE. A thorough assessment of each depressed patient on the predictors of persistence is advisable.
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