The Differential Relation of Emotional, Physical, and Sexual Abuse Histories to Antidepressant Treatment Remission and Persistence of Anhedonia in Major Depression: A CAN-BIND-1 Report Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objective Childhood maltreatment is a potent enviromarker of risk for poor response to antidepressant medication (ADM). However, childhood maltreatment is a heterogeneous construct that includes distinct exposures that have distinct neurobiological and psychological correlates. The purpose of the current study is to examine the differential associations of emotional, physical, and sexual maltreatment to ADM outcome and to examine the unique role of anhedonia in driving poor response in patients with specific maltreatment histories. Methods In a multicentre clinical trial of major depression, 164 individuals were assessed for childhood emotional, physical, and sexual maltreatment with a contextual interview with independent, standardized ratings. All individuals received 8 weeks of escitalopram, with nonresponders subsequently also receiving augmentation with aripiprazole, with outcomes measured with depression rating scales and an anhedonia scale. Results Greater severity of emotional maltreatment perpetrated by the mother was a significant and direct predictor of lower odds of week 16 remission (odds ratio [OR]ā€‰=ā€‰1.68, Pā€‰=ā€‰0.02). In contrast, the relations of paternal-perpetrated emotional maltreatment and physical maltreatment to week 16 remission were indirect, mediated through greater severity of anhedonia at week 8. Conclusions We identify emotional maltreatment as a specific early exposure that places patients at the greatest risk for nonremission following pharmacological treatment. Further, we suggest that anhedonia is a key symptom domain driving nonremission in patients with particular maltreatment histories.


  • Harkness, Kate L
  • Chakrabarty, Trisha
  • Rizvi, Sakina J
  • Mazurka, Raegan
  • Quilty, Lena
  • Uher, Rudolf
  • Milev, Roumen V
  • Frey, Benicio
  • Parikh, Sagar V
  • Foster, Jane
  • Rotzinger, Susan
  • Kennedy, Sidney H
  • Lam, Raymond W

publication date

  • August 2023