Teens Recover From Depression With Short-Term Treatment

Recurrence of depression, however, is quite high, especially in females

TUESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who respond fully to short-term treatment for major depression are more likely than partial or non-responders to recover within two years, and full or partial responders are less likely to suffer a recurrence, though recurrence occurs in nearly half of recovered adolescents -- particularly females, according to research published online Nov. 1 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

John Curry, Ph.D., of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues followed 196 adolescents (mean age, 18 years) who had been treated for major depression by various short-term interventions for five years, to determine if those who responded to short-term treatment or received the most efficacious short-term treatment would have lower rates of recurrence, and to identify factors predictive of recovery and recurrence.

The researchers found that 96.4 percent of the subjects recovered during follow-up, and that recovery within two years was significantly higher in short-term treatment responders (96.2 percent) than in partial or non-responders (79.1 percent); efficacy of treatment appeared not to have an effect. Recurrence happened in 46.6 percent of the subjects who recovered, and was less likely in full or partial responders (42.9 percent) than non-responders (67.6 percent). Recurrence was more common in females than males (57.0 versus 32.9 percent).

"Almost all depressed adolescents recovered. However, recurrence occurs in almost half of recovered adolescents, with higher probability in females in this age range. Further research should identify and address the vulnerabilities to recurrence that are more common among young women," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and/or medical device companies.

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