DEPRES II (Depression Research in European Society II), the first in-depth, pan-European survey of depression in the community, provided an opportunity to identify depressed patient types and their treatment needs. Cluster analysis applied to data generated from DEPRES II interviews revealed six depressed patient types with clearly differentiated profiles. The patient type with moderately impaired depression has episodic depression and minimal disability. By contrast, severe depression associated with anxiety presents with chronic symptoms, including anxiety and panic, and causes considerable disruption to normal life and employment. Depression associated with chronic physical problems and depression associated with social problems are characterized by chronic physical illness and relationship or financial difficulties, respectively, and sufferers are pessimistic about recovery. Depression associated with sleep problems is associated with symptoms of tiredness and broken or inadequate sleep, and is commonly caused by stress. Tiredness is also a principal symptom of depression associated with tiredness or fatigue, but sufferers' ability to sleep is unaffected. All patient types would benefit from antidepressant therapy. The depressed patient types identified from the DEPRES II data make intuitive sense, but now need to be tested for face validity in the primary care setting.
(C) 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.