One-year course and predictors of outcome of adolescent depression: a case-control study in Finland

J Clin Psychiatry. 2008 May;69(5):844-53. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v69n0519.


Background: Clinical studies on the outcome of adolescent depression beyond treatment trials are scarce.

Objective: To investigate the impact of characteristics of the depressive episode and current comorbidity on the 1-year outcome of depression.

Method: A sample of 174 consecutive adolescent psychiatric outpatients (aged 13 through 19 years) and 17 school-derived matched controls, all with unipolar depressive disorders at baseline, were reinterviewed for DSM-IV Axis I and Axis II disorders at 12 months. The study was conducted between January 1998 and May 2002.

Results: The outpatients had equal recovery rate and episode duration but shorter time to recurrence than the controls. Among the outpatients, Axis II comorbidity predicted shorter time to recurrence (p = .02). Longer time to recovery was predicted by earlier lifetime age at onset for depression (p = .02), poor psychosocial functioning (p = .003), depressive disorder diagnosis (p <or= .05), and longer episode duration by study entry (p = .001), with an interaction between episode duration and depressive disorder diagnosis (p = .04).

Conclusions: Characteristics of depression generally predicted the outcome better than co-morbidity. Axis II comorbidity has prognostic value in adolescent depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychology
  • Time Factors