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Changes in the quality of life of patients receiving antidepressant medication in primary care: Validation of the WHOQOL–100

  • Suzanne M. Skevington (a1) and Anne Wright (a1)
Abstract
Background

The study arises from the need for good quality of life (QOL) assessment and a new comprehensive generic QOL profile for cross-cultural use.

Aims

To examine changes in the QOL of patients receiving antidepressants from a general practitioner, and to assess the validity and sensitivity of a new QOL measure, the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (100-item version) (WHOQOL–100).

Method

Patients with moderate depression (n=106) completed the WHOQOL–100 and Beck Depression Inventory at the start of treatment and again after 6 weeks.

Results

Depression decreased significantly over 2 months and 74% reported feeling better. WHOQOL–100 scores increased in 24 of the 25 facets, demonstrating that QOL improves significantly in the 8 weeks following the start of antidepressant treatment. It also shows the instrument's validity and sensitivity to changes in clinical condition.

Conclusions

The UK WHOQOL–100 is confirmed as excellent to good. Antidepressants significantly and comprehensively improve QOL.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor S. M. Skevington, WHO Centre for the Study of Quality of Life, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. Tel: 01225 826830; Fax: 01225 826752; e-mail: s.m.skevington@bath.ac.uk
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Declaration of interest

The research was funded by Glaxo-Wellcome Research & Development (Pharmacoeconomics) (RESA 1040).

Footnotes
References
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American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM–IV). Washington, DC: APA.
Andrews, J. M. (1994) Contemporary management of depression. American Journal of Medicine, 97 (suppl. 6A), 24S32S.
Beck, A. T. & Steer, R. A. (1987) Beck Depression Inventory Manual. New York: The Psychological Corporation.
Kind, P. & Sorenson, J. (1993) The costs of depression. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 7, 191195.
Lish, J. D., Kuzman, M. A., Lush, D. T., et al (1997) Psychiatric screening in primary care: what do patients really want? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 42, 167175.
Montano, C. B. (1994) Recognition and treatment of depression in a primary care setting. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 55, 1834.
Nemeroff, C. B. (1994) Evolutionary trends in the pharmacotherapeutic management of depression. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 55, 317.
Skevington, S. M. (1999) Measuring quality of life in Britain: introducing the WHOQOL–100. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 47, 499–459.
WHOQOL Group (1994a) The development of the WHO quality of life assessment instrument (the WHOQOL). In Quality of Life Assessment: International Perspectives (eds J. Orley & W. Kuyken), pp. 4160. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
WHOQOL Group (1994b) Development of the WHOQOL: rationale and current status. International Journal of Mental Health, 23, 2456.
WHOQOL Group (1995) The World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL): position paper from the World Health Organization. Social Science and Medicine, 41, 14031409.
WHOQOL Group (1998) The World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment (WHOQOL): development and general psychometric properties. Social Science and Medicine, 46, 15691585.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Changes in the quality of life of patients receiving antidepressant medication in primary care: Validation of the WHOQOL–100

  • Suzanne M. Skevington (a1) and Anne Wright (a1)
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