Coping behavior in depressed patients: a longitudinal study
Review articleOpen access

AbstractThe relationship of coping behavior to outcome in depressed patients was examined. Subjects (n=105) with major depressive disorder (n=85), depressive disorder not otherwise specified (n=7) or major depressive disorder with axis I comorbidity (n=13) were followed for 6 months. Their coping behavior (i.e. rumination, active distraction, cognitive distraction and dangerous activities) was defined using the Comprehensive Assessment List for Affective Disorders. Based on their Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) scores at 6 months, the patients were categorized as having had a good or a poor outcome. Severity of depression and coping behavior were similar among the three diagnostic groups. At baseline assessment, coping behavior was not correlated with either HRSD score or age. However, males were significantly more likely to be engaged in dangerous activity as a coping behavior than females. Patients with a good outcome at 6 months were significantly more likely to use rumination as a coping behavior while patients with a poor outcome were significantly more likely to use dangerous activity. Multiple regression analysis confirmed this finding, indicating that rumination and dangerous activity were significant predictors of outcome at 6 months. Rumination might be associated with good outcomes in depressed patients while dangerous activity might be associated with poor outcomes.

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