Does psychosocial functioning improve independent of depressive symptoms? A comparison of nefazodone, psychotherapy, and their combination.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

BACKGROUND: Although it is known that antidepressant treatment improves psychosocial functioning, whether such changes occur independent of depressive symptoms is not known. This study compared efficacy of nefazodone, psychotherapy, and their combination in improving psychosocial functioning in chronically depressed outpatients. METHODS: Patients with chronic forms of major depressive disorder were randomized to 12 weeks of nefazodone, Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), or combined nefazodone/CBASP. Psychosocial assessments measured overall psychosocial functioning, work functioning, interpersonal functioning, and general health. RESULTS: Relative to community norms, patients with chronic major depression evidenced substantially impaired psychosocial functioning at baseline. Combined treatment produced significantly greater psychosocial improvement than either CBASP alone or nefazodone alone on all primary measures. Combined treatment remained superior to nefazodone on primary measures of work, social, and overall functioning, and superior to CBASP on social functioning when depressive symptoms were controlled. Unlike the two groups receiving nefazodone, CBASP alone's effect on psychosocial function was relatively independent of symptom change. Psychosocial functioning improved more slowly than depressive symptoms, and moderate psychosocial impairments remained at end point. CONCLUSIONS: Combined treatment had greater effect than either monotherapy. Change in depressive symptoms did not fully explain psychosocial improvement. Moderate residual psychosocial impairment remained, suggesting the need for continuation/maintenance treatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hirschfeld, RMA; Dunner, DL; Keitner, G; Klein, DN; Koran, LM; Kornstein, SG; Markowitz, JC; Miller, I; Nemeroff, CB; Ninan, PT; Rush, AJ; Schatzberg, AF; Thase, ME; Trivedi, MH; Borian, FE; Crits-Christoph, P; Keller, MB

Published Date

  • January 15, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 123 - 133

PubMed ID

  • 11822991

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3223

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0006-3223(01)01291-4


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States