Characterising the severity of treatment resistance in unipolar and bipolar depression
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Taylor, R., Strawbridge, R., Young, A., Zahn, R., & Cleare, A. (2021). Characterising the severity of treatment resistance in unipolar and bipolar depression. BJPsych Open, 7(6), E193.
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is classically defined according to the number of suboptimal antidepressant responses experienced, but multidimensional assessments of TRD are emerging and may confer some advantages. Patient characteristics have been identified as risk factors for TRD but may also be associated with TRD severity. The identification of individuals at risk of severe TRD would support appropriate prioritisation of intensive and specialist treatments. Aims To determine whether TRD risk factors are associated with TRD severity when assessed multidimensionally using the Maudsley Staging Method (MSM), and univariately as the number of antidepressant non-responses, across three cohorts of individuals with depression. Method Three cohorts of individuals without significant TRD, with established TRD and with severe TRD, were assessed (n = 528). Preselected characteristics were included in linear regressions to determine their association with each outcome. Results Participants with more severe TRD according to the MSM had a lower age at onset, fewer depressive episodes and more physical comorbidities. These associations were not consistent across cohorts. The number of episodes was associated with the number of antidepressant treatment failures, but the direction of association varied across the cohorts studied. Conclusions Several risk factors for TRD were associated with the severity of resistance according to the MSM. Fewer were associated with the raw number of inadequate antidepressant responses. Multidimensional definitions may be more useful for identifying patients at risk of severe TRD. The inconsistency of associations across cohorts has potential implications for the characterisation of TRD.
Published online at:
- Depressive Disorders