This study investigated pretreatment variables associated with depression severity in adolescents following maintenance treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Data was derived from the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS). Participants received one of three treatments: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), fluoxetine (FLX), or combined CBT and fluoxetine (COMB). Participants received 12 weeks of acute treatment, 6 weeks of consolidation treatment, and 18 weeks of maintenance treatment (N = 327, M age = 14.62 yrs). Outcome was measured by the Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised. Results showed adolescents with shorter depressive episodes, better global functioning, less suicidal ideation, better health/social functioning, and greater expectancy of positive treatment response were more likely to have lower depression severity following 36 weeks of treatment, regardless of modality. Adolescents with lower initial depression demonstrated lower depression severity if treated with CBT. FLX was more effective in reducing depression severity in adolescents with severe baseline depression than for those with mild or moderate depression. Adolescents with higher family incomes were more likely to have lower depression severity if they received CBT only. In conclusion, adolescents with shorter depressive episodes, better health, social, and global functioning, less suicidal ideation, and greater expectancy for treatment at baseline respond equally well to CBT, fluoxetine, and combined treatment. Adolescents who are more severely depressed at baseline may have a better treatment response if they are treated with FLX; whereas adolescents of higher income are more likely to have a better response if they receive CBT only.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology