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Factors Associated With Health-Related Quality of Life Among Outpatients With Major Depressive Disorder: A STAR*D Report.

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67:185-195

Objective: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often chronic and is often associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The importance of assessing disability and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with MDD has only recently been recognized. The aim of this study was to examine sociodemographic and clinical correlates of HRQOL in a large cohort of outpatients with MDD.

Method: Baseline assessments were completed for 1500 consecutive patients enrolled in the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression trial, including sociodemographic characteristics and measures of depressive symptom severity, clinical features, and HRQOL. Multiple domains of HRQOL were assessed with the 12-item Short Form Health Survey, the Work and Social Adjustment Scale, and the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire. The current analyses were conducted on HRQOL data available for 1397 of the 1500 subjects.

Results: Greater symptom severity was associated with reduced HRQOL by all measures. Even after age and symptom severity were controlled for, a number of clinical features and sociodemographic characteristics were independently associated with HRQOL in multiple domains, including age at onset of MDD, ethnicity, marital status, employment status, education level, insurance status, and monthly household income.

Conclusion: Results strongly suggest the need to assess HRQOL in addition to symptoms in order to gauge the true severity of MDD. This study also highlights the necessity of measuring HRQOL in multiple domains. These results have implications for the assessment of remission and functional recovery in the treatment of MDD.