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Research has consistently documented the significance of severe life events for the onset and course of major depression. However, no research has been done on whether social and clinical characteristics differ in depressed primary care attendees who have experienced stressful life events compared to those who have not.
We investigated whether social and clinical characteristics differ in depressed primary care attendees who have experienced stressful life events compared to depressed primary care attendees who have not.
We undertook a prospective cohort study involving 5,442 consecutive primary care attendees with evaluations at baseline and at 6 months. Patients aged 18-75 years were recruited in six Spanish provinces between October 2005 and February 2006. The incidence of major depression was assessed at 6 months with the Depression Section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Stressful life events were measured with the List of Threatening Experiences (LTE).
3,804 (70%) were interviewed at 6 months of follow-up. Among 200 attendees with a first episode of major depression, 24.5% had experienced no stressful life events, 30.5% had suffered one, 20.5% had experienced two and 24% had suffered three or more in the 6 months prior to the onset of depression. Depressed primary care attendees who had experienced three or more stressful life events differed from depressed patients with no stressful life events in the following variables: economic difficulties, dissatisfaction with unpaid work, relational variables, psychiatric co-morbidity and family history.
Stress-related major depression differs from non-stress-related depression in primary care.
To determine the association between functional impairment, as reported in a lay-administered structured interview (CIDI), and severity of depression, depressive symptoms and risk factors for depression.
We undertook a cross-sectional study of 5442 consecutive attendees at general practices in seven Spanish provinces participating in the PredictD-Spain study on predictors of depression. Participants were administered the depression section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (WHO-CIDI 2.1), allowing diagnoses by the ICD-10 and DSM-IV classifications for depressive episodes. Impairment was measured using the CIDI question about whether symptoms seriously interfered with important areas of functioning, such as work or looking after the house and family. We measured a set of 39 known risk factors for depression.
Firstly, the 6-month prevalence of a depressive episode according to ICD-10 was 28.7% (1563) and of major depression according to DSM-IV it was 13.6% (742). Secondly, out of the 1563 patients with a depressive episode according to ICD-10, nearly half (47.9%; n=749) had no impairment in important areas of functioning.
As the ICD-10 criteria for depressive diagnoses do not include the criteria that symptoms cause impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning, a large number of false positive cases are included in reported prevalence rates; and secondly, the measurement of functional impairment, at least operationalized using a lay-administered structured interview such as CIDI, is not enough, in epidemiological research studies, to assess the clinical importance of depressive symptoms.
The predictD study is a pioneering international study whose main objective was to develop a risk index for the onset of major depression in general practice attendees.
The aim of this exploratory study was to determine the opinion of primary care attendees and their general practitioners about how to implement primary prevention of major depression. The intervention consisted of informing primary care attendees about their risk level and risk profile for the onset of major depression.
The study participants were primary care attendees and general practitioners in urban health centres of 7 Spanish provinces. The methodology used was qualitative: there were 14 in-depth interviews (two from each province), 7 DAFO groups and 7 focus groups.
The results showed that attendees generally welcomed this precautionary measure. Some even proposed potential changes in their lifestyles to prevent depression, such as improving social relationships, taking things more calmly or doing more leisure activities, while others asked their GP for advice. The GPs were more resistant about informing primary care attendees, raising doubts about the validity-reliability of the instrument, their lack of education about what they should or should not advise their attendees, the danger of creating excessive fear in their attendees, or the barrier of lack of time in the office to do these activities.
Primary care attendees welcome this preventive measure more than their general practitioners.
The different incidence rates of, and risk factors for, depression in different countries argue for the need to have a specific risk algorithm for each country or a supranational risk algorithm. We aimed to develop and validate a predictD-Spain risk algorithm (PSRA) for the onset of major depression and to compare the performance of the PSRA with the predictD-Europe risk algorithm (PERA) in Spanish primary care.
A prospective cohort study with evaluations at baseline, 6 and 12 months. We measured 39 known risk factors and used multi-level logistic regression and inverse probability weighting to build the PSRA. In Spain (4574), Chile (2133) and another five European countries (5184), 11 891 non-depressed adult primary care attendees formed our at-risk population. The main outcome was DSM-IV major depression (CIDI).
Six variables were patient characteristics or past events (sex, age, sex×age interaction, education, physical child abuse, and lifetime depression) and six were current status [Short Form 12 (SF-12) physical score, SF-12 mental score, dissatisfaction with unpaid work, number of serious problems in very close persons, dissatisfaction with living together at home, and taking medication for stress, anxiety or depression]. The C-index of the PSRA was 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.84]. The Integrated Discrimination Improvement (IDI) was 0.0558 [standard error (s.e.)=0.0071, Zexp=7.88, p<0.0001] mainly due to the increase in sensitivity. Both the IDI and calibration plots showed that the PSRA functioned better than the PERA in Spain.
The PSRA included new variables and afforded an improved performance over the PERA for predicting the onset of major depression in Spain. However, the PERA is still the best option in other European countries.
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