Although a score of less than 7 for the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) has been widely adopted to define remission of depression, a full recovery from depression is closely related to the patient’s quality of life as well. Accordingly, we re-evaluated this definition of remission using HAM-D17 in comparison with the corresponding score for health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measured by the SF-36.
Using the data for depressive patients reported by GlaxoSmithKline K.K. (Study No. BRL29060A/863) in a post-marketing observational study of paroxetine, with a sample size of n = 722, multivariate logistic regression was performed with the HAM-D17 score as a dependent variable and with each of the eight domain scores of HRQOL (from the SF-36) transformed into a binominal form according to the national standard value for Japan. Then, area under curve of receiver operating characteristic analyses were conducted. Based on the obtained results, a multivariate analysis was performed using the HAM-D17 score in a binomial form with HAM-D17 as a dependent variable and with each of the eight HRQOL domain scores (SF-36) as binominalized independent variables.
A cutoff value for the HAM-D17 score of 5 provided the maximum ROC-AUC at “0.864.” The significantly associated scores of the eight HRQOL domains (SF-36) were identified for the HAM-D17 cutoff values of ≥5 and ≤4. The scores for physical functioning (odds ratio, 0.473), bodily pain (0.557), vitality (0.379), social functioning (0.540), role-emotion (0.265), and mental health (0.467) had a significant negative association with the HAM-D17 score (p < 0.05), and HRQOL domain scores for HAM-D17 ≥ 5 were significantly lower compared with those for HAM-D17 ≤ 4.
A cutoff value for HAM-D17 of less than or equal to 4 was the best candidate for indicating remission of depression when the recovery of HRQOL is considered. Restoration of social function and performance should be considered equally important in assessing the adequacy of treatment for patients with depression.