Remission of depression in patients with schizophrenia and comorbid major depressive disorder: results from the FACE-SZ cohort

Br J Psychiatry. 2018 Aug;213(2):464-470. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2018.87. Epub 2018 Jun 6.


Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is underdiagnosed and undertreated in schizophrenia, and has been strongly associated with impaired quality of life.AimsTo determine the prevalence and associated factors of MDD and unremitted MDD in schizophrenia, to compare treated and non-treated MDD.

Method: Participants were included in the FondaMental Expert Centers for Schizophrenia and received a thorough clinical assessment. MDD was defined by a Calgary score ≥6. Non-remitted MDD was defined by current antidepressant treatment (unchanged for >8 weeks) and current Calgary score ≥6.

Results: 613 patients were included and 175 (28.5%) were identified with current MDD. MDD has been significantly associated with respectively paranoid delusion (odds ratio 1.8; P = 0.01), avolition (odds ratio 1.8; P = 0.02), blunted affect (odds ratio 1.7; P = 0.04) and benzodiazepine consumption (odds ratio 1.8; P = 0.02). Antidepressants were associated with lower depressive symptoms score (5.4 v. 9.5; P < 0.0001); however, 44.1% of treated patients remained in non-remittance MDD. Nonremitters were found to have more paranoid delusion (odds ratio 2.3; P = 0.009) and more current alcohol misuse disorder (odds ratio 4.8; P = 0.04). No antidepressant class or specific antipsychotic were associated with higher or lower response to antidepressant treatment. MDD was associated with Metabolic syndrome (31.4 v. 20.2%; P = 0.006) but not with increased C-reactive protein.

Conclusions: Antidepressant administration is associated with lower depressive symptom level in patients with schizophrenia and MDD. Paranoid delusions and alcohol misuse disorder should be specifically explored and treated in cases of non-remission under treatment. MetS may play a role in MDD onset and/or maintenance in patients with schizophrenia.Declaration of interestNone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antidepressive Agents