Moderators of the synchrony of change between decreasing depression severity and disability

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Objective:To identify moderators of synchrony of change between depression severity and disability.Method:From a large cohort study with 2 years of follow-up, patients with major depressive disorder at baseline who decreased at least 25% in depression severity after 2 years (n = 245) were selected. We measured overall and domain-specific disability at baseline, and at 1- and 2-year follow-up. Possible moderators, among which several demographic, clinical, personality, and contextual factors, were measured at baseline. We used linear mixed models to analyze the data.Results:Decrease in depression severity correlated strongly with reductions of overall disability (r = 0.54). Synchrony of change for the disability domains ranged from 0.13 for self-care to 0.47 for participation. From the possible moderators, only age and work stress moderated the association between change in depression severity and disability, with stronger synchrony of change among younger patients and patients who experienced moderate work stress.Conclusion:Strong synchrony of change exists between depression severity and disability. Perhaps, because of the strength of this synchrony, few contextual characteristics moderated the association. Clinicians should be aware of the risk of slower or incomplete functional recovery in older people and those without a job or those experiencing low work stress.

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