Maintenance treatment for old-age depression preserves health-related quality of life: A randomized, controlled trial of paroxetine and interpersonal psychotherapy

Alexandre Y. Dombrovski, Eric J. Lenze, Mary Amanda Dew, Benoit H. Mulsant, Bruce G. Pollock, Patricia R. Houck, Charles F. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy and interpersonal psychotherapy sustain gains in health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) achieved during short-term treatment in older patients with depression. DESIGN: After open combined treatment with paroxetine and interpersonal psychotherapy, responders were randomly assigned to a two (paroxetine vs placebo) by two (monthly interpersonal psychotherapy vs clinical management) double-blind, placebo-controlled maintenance trial. HR-QOL outcomes were assessed over 1 year. SETTING: University-based clinic. PATIENTS: Of the referred sample of 363 persons aged 70 and older with major depression, 210 gave consent, and 195 started acute treatment; 116 met criteria for recovery, entered maintenance treatment, and were included in this analysis. INTERVENTIONS: Paroxetine; monthly manual-based interpersonal psychotherapy. MEASUREMENTS: Overall HR-QOL as measured using the Quality of Well-Being Scale (QWB) and six specific HR-QOL domains derived from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) subscales. RESULTS: All domains of HR-QOL except physical functioning improved with successful acute and continuation treatment. After controlling for any effects of psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy was superior to placebo in preserving overall well-being (P=.04, effect size (r)=0.23), social functioning (P=.02, r=0.27), and role limitations due to emotional problems (P=.007, r=0.30). Interpersonal psychotherapy (controlling for the effects of pharmacotherapy) did not preserve HR-QOL better than supportive clinical management. CONCLUSION: Maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy is superior to placebo in preserving improvements in overall well-being achieved with treatment response in late-life depression. No such benefit was seen with interpersonal psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1332
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume55
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Antidepressive agents
  • Depressive disorder
  • Psychotherapy
  • Quality of life

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