The Effects of Venlafaxine on Social Activity Level in Depressed Outpatients

Background: Although most depression treatment outcome scales focus on symptoms, depression also affects daily functioning, social activity, and quality of life. We examined the effects of venlafaxine on social activity, general life functioning, and depressive symptoms in 2 placebo-controlled clinical trials of venlafaxine.

Method: Subjects were 600 outpatients with major depression (DSM-III-R criteria). Treatment outcomes were examined separately in each study, primarily because of differing lengths of follow-up.

Results: Treatment with venlafaxine significantly improved activity level, general life functioning, and depressive symptoms. Treatment accounted for statistically significant changes in both activity level and general life functioning even after controlling for changes in depression.

Conclusion: We provide evidence that social activity is a behavioral domain distinct from depressive symptoms and that venlafaxine improves social activity level and general life functioning in addition to its positive effects on depressive symptoms in outpatients with major depression.

J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60(3):157-163