Objectives Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent psychiatric disorder associated with impaired patient functioning and reductions in health-related quality of life (HRQL). The present study describes the impact of MDD on patients' HRQL and examines preference-based health state differences by patient features and clinical characteristics. Methods 95 French primary care practitioners recruited 250 patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of MDD for inclusion in an eight-week follow-up cohort. Patient assessments included the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the Clinical Global Impression of Severity (CGI), the Short Form-36 Item scale (SF-36), the Quality of Life Depression Scale (QLDS) and the EuroQoL (EQ-5D). Results The mean EQ-5D utility at baseline was 0.33, and 8% of patients rated their health state as worse than death. There were no statistically significant differences in utilities by demographic features. Significant differences were found in mean utilities by level of disease severity assessed by CGI. The different clinical response profiles, assessed by MADRS, were also revealed by EQ-5D at endpoint: 0.85 for responders remitters, 0.72 for responders non-remitter, and 0.58 for non-responders. Even if HRQL and EQ-5D were moderately correlated, they shared only 40% of variance between baseline and endpoint. Conclusions Self-reported patient valuations for depression are important patient-reported outcomes for cost-effectiveness evaluations of new antidepressant compounds and help in further understanding patient compliance with antidepressant treatment
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