Predictors of Quality of Life Improvement with Escitalopram and Adjunctive Aripiprazole in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A CAN-BIND Study Report Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Non-response to first-line treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is common; for such individuals, quality of life (QoL) impairments can be severe. Identifying predictors of QoL changes may support the management of cases with persistent depressive symptoms despite adequate initial pharmacological/psychological treatment. OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to explore predictors of domain-specific QoL improvement following adjunctive aripiprazole treatment for inadequate response to initial antidepressant therapy. METHODS: We evaluated secondary QoL outcomes from a CAN-BIND (Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression) study in patients with MDD who did not respond to an initial 8 weeks of escitalopram and received a further 8 weeks of adjunctive aripiprazole (n = 96). Physical, psychological, social, and environmental QoL domains were assessed using the World Health Organization QoL Scale Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF). Clinician-rated depressive symptoms were assessed using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Functioning was measured with the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Satisfaction with medication was assessed with a single item from the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form (Q-LES-Q-SF). Exploratory t-tests were used to describe domain score changes. A hierarchical linear regression was used to explore demographic, clinical, and treatment-related predictors of improvement. RESULTS: Across domains, QoL improved with adjunctive aripiprazole treatment. Satisfaction with medication and MADRS and SDS scores similarly improved. Symptom reduction was a predictor for positive change to physical and psychological QoL; functioning improvements were predictive of increases to all QoL domains. Satisfaction with medication predicted improvements to physical and psychological domains, whereas number of medication trials was a predictor of worsening QoL in the physical domain. CONCLUSION: The final model explained the most variance in psychological (68%) and physical (67%) QoL. Less variance was explained for environmental (43%) and social QoL (33%), highlighting a need for further exploration of predictors in these domains. Strategies such as functional remediation may have potential to support QoL for individuals with persistent depressive symptoms. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRY: identifier: NCT016557.


  • Morton, Emma
  • Bhat, Venkat
  • Giacobbe, Peter
  • Lou, Wendy
  • Michalak, Erin E
  • McInerney, Shane
  • Chakrabarty, Trisha
  • Frey, Benicio
  • Milev, Roumen V
  • Müller, Daniel J
  • Parikh, Sagar V
  • Rotzinger, Susan
  • Kennedy, Sidney H
  • Lam, Raymond W

publication date

  • April 2021

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