Detailed course of depressive symptoms and risk for developing depression in late adolescents with subthreshold depression: a cohort study
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Furukawa, Toshi A
major depressive episode
Purpose: Despite its clinical importance, adolescent subthreshold depression remains a largely neglected topic. The aims of this study were to accurately identify the natural course of depressive symptoms and the risk for developing major depressive episode (MDE) in late adolescents with subthreshold depression over 1 year.
Patients and methods: One hundred and seventy-two participants <20 years of age (mean age: 18.32 years, standard deviation: 0.50), who did not meet the full criteria for an MDE, were selected from 2,494 screened freshmen based on the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd edition (BDI-II). We conducted a cohort study of three groups (low-, middle-, and high-symptom groups) divided based on BDI-II scores, over a 1 year period with the use of bimonthly assessments. Temporal changes of depressive symptoms were analyzed using linear mixed modeling and growth mixture modeling.
Results: First, we found that late adolescents with subthreshold depression (high depressive symptoms) were split between the increasing and decreasing depressive symptoms groups, whereas the majority of the less-symptoms group remained stable during 1 year. Second, in comparison with late adolescents with less depressive symptoms, those with subthreshold depression had an elevated risk of later depression.
Conclusion: Some late adolescents with subthreshold depression had increased depressive symptoms and developed an MDE during 1 year. Therefore, it is necessary for us to rigorously assess the changes in subthreshold depressive symptoms over time in late adolescents.
This study was supported (in part) by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16H06395, JP16H06399 and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (23118004; Adolescent Mind & Self-Regulation) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Dove Medical Press
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