Improvement in self-reported quality of life with cognitive therapy for recurrent major depressive disorder

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17 Scopus citations


Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) is common, often recurrent and/or chronic. Theoretically, assessing quality of life (QoL) in addition to the current practice of assessing depressive symptoms has the potential to offer a more comprehensive evaluation of the effects of treatment interventions and course of illness. Methods Before and after acute-phase cognitive therapy (CT), 492 patients from Continuation Phase Cognitive Therapy Relapse Prevention trial (Jarrett et al., 2013; Jarrett and Thase, 2010) completed the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-report (IDS-SR) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI); clinicians completed Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-17-items. Repeated measures analysis of variance evaluated the improvement in QoL before/after CT and measured the effect sizes. Change analyses to assess clinical significance (Hageman and Arrindell, 1999) were conducted. Results At the end of acute-phase CT, a repeated measure analysis of variance produced a statistically significant increase in Q-LES-Q scores with effect sizes of 0.48-1.3%; 76.9-91.4% patients reported clinically significant improvement. Yet, only 11-38.2% QoL scores normalized. An analysis of covariance showed that change in depression severity (covariates=IDS-SR, BDI) completely accounted for the improvement in Q-LES-Q scores. Limitations There were only two time points of observation; clinically significant change analyses lacked matched normal controls; and generalizability is constrained by sampling characteristics. Conclusions Quality of life improves significantly in patients with recurrent MDD after CT; however, this improvement is completely accounted for by change in depression severity. Normalization of QoL in all patients may require targeted, additional, and/or longer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of affective disorders
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Cognitive therapy
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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