Background: Most people with depression do not achieve adequate treatment response. People’s perceptions of their depression and treatment outcomes are crucial to understanding challenges they endure in their disease.
Objective: To gain an understanding of the experiences, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and overall wellbeing in people living with depression.
Methods: An online survey was administered December 2017 to March 2018 via the website, newsletter, and social media platforms of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Analysis included US residents, aged ≥18 years, with a self-reported depression diagnosis (N=435). Survey included measures of depression severity (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9]), HRQOL (short-form 12-item [SF-12]), and wellbeing (World Health Organization 5-item [WHO-5]). Descriptive and bivariate analyses evaluated participants’ self-reported depression experiences and responses on other measures.
Results: Mean age was 44 years and 83% were female. Distribution of self-reported disease severity (27% mild, 43% moderate, 22% severe) was similar to disease severity measured by PHQ-9. Current treatment strategies included prescription medications (78%), wellness strategies (55%), and individual psychotherapy (49%). Improvements most commonly desired from treatment were emotional wellbeing (86%), quality of life (QOL; 80%), and depression symptoms (65%). Mean PHQ-9 scores were inversely correlated with mean SF-12 mental component (MC) and WHO-5 scores. SF-12 MC and WHO-5 scores were lower among participants with anhedonia, pain, and self-reported severe depression versus no anhedonia/pain and none/mild/moderate depression (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Results demonstrate people with depression perceive emotional wellbeing and QOL to be important in treating depression. SF-12 MC and WHO-5 scores are correlated with depression severity.