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The Dimensional Anhedonia Rating Scale (DARS) is a novel questionnaire to assess anhedonia of recent validation. In this work, we aim to study the equivalence between the traditional paper-and-pencil and the digital format of DARS. Sixty-nine patients filled the DARS in a paper-based and digital versions. We assessed differences between formats (Wilcoxon test), validity of the scales [Kappa and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs)], and reliability (Cronbach’s alpha and Guttman’s coefficient). We calculated the comparative fit index and the root mean squared error (RMSE) associated with the proposed one-factor structure. Total scores were higher for paper-based format. Significant differences between both formats were found for three items. The weighted Kappa coefficient was approximately 0.40 for most of the items. Internal consistency was greater than 0.94, and the ICC for the digital version was 0.95 and 0.94 for the paper-and-pencil version (F = 16.7, p < 0.001). Comparative Adjustment Index was 0.97 for the digital DARS and 0.97 for the paper-and-pencil DARS, and RMSE was 0.11 for the digital DARS and 0.10 for the paper-and-pencil DARS. We concluded that the digital DARS is consistent in many respects with the paper-and-pencil questionnaire, but equivalence with this format cannot be assumed without caution.
In an effort to optimize patient outcomes, considerable attention is being devoted to identifying patient characteristics associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) and its responsiveness to treatment. In the current study, we extend this work by evaluating whether early change in these sensitivities is associated with response to antidepressant treatment for MDD.
Participants included 210 patients with MDD who were treated with 8 weeks of escitalopram and 112 healthy comparison participants. Of the original 210 patients, 90 non-responders received adjunctive aripiprazole for an additional 8 weeks. Symptoms of depression and anhedonia were assessed at the beginning of treatment and 8 weeks later in both samples. Reward and punishment sensitivity were assessed using the BIS/BAS scales measured at the initiation of treatment and 2 weeks later.
Individuals with MDD exhibited higher punishment sensitivity and lower reward sensitivity compared with healthy comparison participants. Change in reward sensitivity during the first 2 weeks of treatment was associated with improved depressive symptoms and anhedonia following 8 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. Similarly, improvement in reward responsiveness during the first 2 weeks of adjunctive therapy with aripiprazole was associated with fewer symptoms of depression at post-treatment.
Findings highlight the predictive utility of early change in reward sensitivity during antidepressant treatment for major depression. In a clinical setting, a lack of change in early reward processing may signal a need to modify a patient's treatment plan with alternative or augmented treatment approaches.
The appeal of ketamine – in promptly ameliorating depressive symptoms even in those with non-response – has led to a dramatic increase in its off-label use. Initial promising results await robust corroboration and key questions remain, particularly concerning its long-term administration. It is, therefore, timely to review the opinions of mood disorder experts worldwide pertaining to ketamine's potential as an option for treating depression and provide a synthesis of perspectives – derived from evidence and clinical experience – and to consider strategies for future investigations.
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