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PREDICTORS OF TREATMENT OUTCOMES AMONG DEPRESSED WOMEN WITH CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE HISTORIES

Authors


Correspondence to: Natalie A. Cort, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14642. E-mail: Natalie_Cort@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract

Background

A notable portion (21%) of female patients receiving treatment for depression in community mental health centers (CMHC) has childhood sexual abuse (CSA) histories. Treatment outcomes in this population are heterogeneous; identifying factors associated with differential outcomes could inform treatment development. This exploratory study begins to address the gap in what is known about predictors of treatment outcomes among depressed women with sexual abuse histories.

Method

Seventy women with major depressive disorder and CSA histories in a CMHC were randomly assigned to interpersonal psychotherapy (n = 37) or usual care (n = 33). Using generalized estimating equations, we examined four pretreatment predictor domains (i.e. sociodemographic characteristics, clinical features, social and physical functioning, and trauma features) potentially related to depression treatment outcomes.

Results

Among sociodemographic characteristics, Black race/ethnicity, public assistance income, and unemployment were associated with less depressive symptom reduction over the course of treatment. Two clinical features, chronic depression and borderline personality disorder, were also related to less reduction in depressive symptoms across the treatment period.

Conclusion

Our results demonstrate the clinical relevance of attending to predictors of depressed women with CSA histories being treated in public sector mental health centers. Particular sociodemographic characteristics and clinical features among these women may be significant indicators of risk for relatively poorer treatment outcomes.

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