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Anhedonia Predicts Poorer Recovery among Youth with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Treatment-Resistant Depression

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JAACAP Volume 51, Number 4, ISSN 0890-8567


Objective: To identify symptom dimensions of depression that predict recovery among selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment-resistant adolescents undergoing second-step treatment. Method: The Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) trial included 334 SSRI treatment-resistant youth randomized to a medication switch, or a medication switch plus CBT. This study examined five established symptom dimensions (Child Depression Rating Scale--Revised) at baseline as they predicted recovery over 24 weeks of acute and continuation treatment. The two indices of recovery that were evaluated were time to remission and number of depression-free days. Results: Multivariate analyses examining all five depression symptom dimensions simultaneously indicated that anhedonia was the only dimension to predict a longer time to remission, and also the only dimension to predict fewer depression-free days. In addition, when anhedonia and CDRS-total score were evaluated simultaneously, anhedonia continued to uniquely predict longer time to remission and fewer depression-free days. Conclusions: Anhedonia may represent an important negative prognostic indicator among treatment-resistant depressed adolescents. Further research is needed to elucidate neurobehavioral underpinnings of anhedonia, and to test treatments that target anhedonia in the context of overall treatment of depression. Clinical trial registration information--Treatment of SSRI-Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA);; NCT00018902. (Contains 3 tables.)


McMakin, D.L., Olino, T.M., Porta, G., Dietz, L.J., Emslie, G., Clarke, G., Wagner, K.D., Asarnow, J.R., Ryan, N.D., Birmaher, B., Shamseddeen, W., Mayes, T., Kennard, B., Spirito, A., Keller, M., Lynch, F.L., Dickerson, J.F. & Brent, D.A. (2012). Anhedonia Predicts Poorer Recovery among Youth with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Treatment-Resistant Depression. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(4), 404-411. Retrieved October 21, 2020 from .

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