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    Steinert, Christiane Hofmann, Mareike Kruse, Johannes and Leichsenring, Falk 2014. The prospective long-term course of adult depression in general practice and the community. A systematic literature review. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 152-154, p. 65.


    Cohen, Carl I. Goh, Kah Hong and Gustave, Mario 2010. A prospective study of outcome and predictors of subclinical and clinical depression in an older biracial sample of psychiatric outpatients. Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 121, Issue. 3, p. 204.


    Cohen, Carl I. Goh, Kah Hong and Yaffee, Robert A. 2009. Depression Outcome Among a Biracial Sample of Depressed Urban Elders. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 17, Issue. 11, p. 943.


    Weiss, Alexander Sutin, Angelina R. Duberstein, Paul R. Friedman, Bruce Bagby, R Michael and Costa, Paul T. 2009. The Personality Domains and Styles of the Five-Factor Model are Related to Incident Depression in Medicare Recipients Aged 65 to 100. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 17, Issue. 7, p. 591.


    Fichter, Manfred M. Kohlboeck, Gabriele and Quadflieg, Norbert 2008. The Upper Bavarian longitudinal community study 1975–2004. 2. Long-term course and outcome of depression. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Vol. 258, Issue. 8, p. 476.


    Monroe, Scott M. Torres, Leandro D. Guillaumot, Julien Harkness, Kate L. Roberts, John E. Frank, Ellen and Kupfer, David 2006. Life stress and the long-term treatment course of recurrent depression: III. Nonsevere life events predict recurrence for medicated patients over 3 years.. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 74, Issue. 1, p. 112.


    Kennedy, Noel and Foy, Kevin 2005. The impact of residual symptoms on outcome of major depression. Current Psychiatry Reports, Vol. 7, Issue. 6, p. 441.


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Better outcomes for depressive disorders?

Abstract

Well conducted investigations into the long-term outcome of depressive disorders are rare. This issue of Psychological Medicine publishes two important papers reporting on different cohorts of depressed patients, one series from Japan (Kanai et al. 2003) and the other from Cambridge UK (Kennedy et al. 2003). Both were ascertained in the early 1990s and have been followed for 5–6 and 8–10 years respectively. Each study demonstrates methodological advances. Both invite comparison with previous reports of the long-term outcome of depression whose follow-up periods span the last 40 years. Is the outcome of depressive disorders at last improving in the era of modern treatments? Is this merely an artefact of better research methods, or does it also reflect therapeutic advances? If there has been very little improvement in some aspects of outcome, what lessons can we learn for future research and practice development?

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Alan S. Lee, Department of Psychiatry, B Floor, South Block, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH.
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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