Author(s): Helmreich I, Wagner S, Knig J, Kohnen R, Szegedi A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Hamilton depression rating scale (HAMD) subscales provide an economic alternative for the full scale; however, their ability to detect onset of improvement in the early course of treatment (EI) has not yet been researched. The present study investigated in patients with major depression (MD) whether the subscales are a comparable option to predict treatment remission in the early course of treatment. METHODS: Based on data from 210 MD patients of a 6-week randomised, placebo-controlled trial comparing mirtazapine (MIR) and paroxetine (PAR), the discriminative and predictive validity of EI for (stable) remission at treatment end was evaluated for seven subscales and the HAMD17 in the total and in treatment subgroups (MIR vs. PAR). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves (at week 2) and the Clinical Global Impression scales (CGI) (at study endpoint) were used to validate the 20\% EI criterion for the subscales. RESULTS: Only the Evans6 and Toronto7 subscale had almost the same predictive value as the HAMD17 (e.g., sensitivities stable remission Evans6/Toronto7: 96/95\% vs. 96\% HAMD17). The optimal cut-off for EI to predict remission was just below 20\% for most subscales and slightly over 20\% for stable remission. LIMITATIONS: Study sample representativeness, non-independence of subscales, missing external validation criterion, lack of control group. CONCLUSIONS: The Evans6 and Toronto7 subscales are valuable alternatives in situations, where economic aspects play a larger role. A sum score reduction of ≥20\% as definition for EI seems also appropriate for the HAMD subscales, in the total as well as in the antidepressant subgroups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Affect Disord
and referenced in Clinical Depression