Objective: Approximately half of older patients treated for major depressive disorder (MDD) do not achieve symptomatic remission and functional recovery with first-line pharmacotherapy. This study aims to characterize sociodemographic, clinical, and neuropsychologic correlates of full, partial, and non-response to escitalopram monotherapy of unipolar MDD in later life. Methods: One hundred and seventy-five patients aged 60 and older were assessed at baseline on demographic variables, depression severity, hopelessness, anxiety, cognitive functioning, co-existing medical illness burden, social support, and quality of life (disability). Subjects received 10mg/d of open-label escitalopram and were divided into full (n = 55; 31%), partial (n = 75; 42.9%), and non-responder (n = 45; 25.7%) groups based on Hamilton depression scores at week 6. Univariate followed by multivariate analyses tested for differences between the three groups. Results: Non-responders to treatment were found to be more severely depressed and anxious at baseline than both full and partial responders, more disabled, and with lower self-esteem than full responders. In general partial responders resembled full responders more than they resembled non-responders. In multivariate models, more severe anxiety symptoms (both psychological and somatic) and lower self-esteem predicted worse response status at 6 weeks. Conclusion: Among treatment-seeking elderly persons with MDD, higher anxiety symptoms and lower self-esteem predict poorer response after six weeks of escitalopram treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health