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The role of depression course on life functioning and coping outcomes from baseline through 23-year follow-up.

Woodhead E, Cronkite R, Finlay A, Wong J, Haverfield M, Timko C. The role of depression course on life functioning and coping outcomes from baseline through 23-year follow-up. Journal of mental health (Abingdon, England). 2022 Jun 1; 31(3):348-356.

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BACKGROUND: Although studies have examined how depressed patients'' baseline characteristics predict depression course, still needed are studies of how depression course is associated with modifiable long-term outcomes. AIMS: This study examined six outcomes of three groups representing distinct depression courses (low baseline severity, rapid decline; moderate baseline severity, rapid decline; and high baseline severity, slow decline): medical functioning, coping patterns, family functioning, social functioning, employment, and work functioning. METHOD: Adults with depression at baseline (N? = 382; 56% women) were followed for 23 years on self-reported outcomes (79% response rate). Data from the baseline assessment and follow-ups (1, 4, 10, and 23 years) were used in a longitudinal analysis to examine associations between depression course and outcomes. RESULTS: All depression course groups declined on medical and social functioning and employment over follow-up. The high- and moderate-severity depression course groups reported poorer coping patterns than the low-severity group. The high-severity depression course group reported poorer family functioning than the moderate-severity group, and had the poorest work functioning outcome, followed by the moderate-severity and then the low-severity groups. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a high- or moderate-severity depression course may benefit from treatment that manages coping patterns and improves family and work functioning.

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