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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Predictors of the Long Term Course of Major Depression

In Canada (as in other countries), approximately 20% of those developing an episode of MDE have a decidedly negative course. In a recent study, we examined what factors may help to predict, or determine, a more favourable from a less favourable long-term outcome. The most important predictors of a negative course were: having a family history of depression, having a comorbid condition along with the depressive episode, having a more negative cognitive style, stress, smoking and pain. In some cases, these may be factors that both result from depression and which make the depression worse - in other words, dynamic factors that may contribute to depression becoming entrenched. In other cases, e.g. having a family history, these may simply be factors that identify a greater vulnerability to depression.

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