Presence of neuroticism and antidepressant remission rates in late-life depression: results from the Neurobiology of Late-Life Depression (NBOLD) study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

ABSTRACTNeuroticism in older adults is common yet understudied, particularly its effects on depression treatment outcomes. We hypothesized that presence of high neuroticism would be associated with lower 12-week remission rates in older depressed sertraline-treated patients. In this longitudinal cohort study, 43 depressed older adults completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R). A study psychiatrist administered the Montgomery Ǻsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS, a measure of medical burden) at baseline, and the MADRS at each clinical visit. All subjects began open-label sertraline treatment and were followed over 12 weeks with clinically indicated flexible dosing and an option to switch antidepressants. We used regression analyses to examine factors related to 12-week remission of depression (MADRS score < 8) and final MADRS score. We found that higher total neuroticism (odds ratio (OR) = 0.963, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.928-1.000) and a neuroticism subscale, stress vulnerability (OR = 0.846, 95% CI = 0.728-0.983), were associated with lower likelihood of remission among both the intention-to-treat group and sertraline completers. Findings remained significant after controlling for baseline MADRS and CIRS score. In conclusion, assessment of personality, particularly features of neuroticism, may be important in management of late-life depression. Future studies should determine if depressed patients high in neuroticism may benefit from psychotherapy focusing on emotional regulation and stress management.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Steffens, DC; Wu, R; Grady, JJ; Manning, KJ

Published Date

  • July 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1069 - 1074

PubMed ID

  • 29198213

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5986581

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-203X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S1041610217002551


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England