Health-Related Quality of Life and Utilities Among Patients With Depression in the Department of Veterans Affairs

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ObjectiveThis study establishes veteran-specific utility measures for patients with and those without depression.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted of 87,797 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients who had completed the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) portion of the VA's Large Health Survey of Veteran Enrollees administered in 1999 (58,442 veterans had an ICD-9 diagnosis of depression and 29,355 did not have such a diagnosis).ResultsAll demographic and clinical comparisons were statistically significant between the two groups. Compared with veterans without depression, those with depression had lower mental component scores and physical component scores, indicating worse health. Utilities, an indication of health state, were lower for veterans with depression, indicating worse health.ConclusionsThis is the first national study of utilities among veterans with and those without depression. Future research should investigate how treatment interventions may affect utilities and develop broader cost-effectiveness models of VA depression care. (Psychiatric Services 59: 1331–1334, 2008)

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