The association between persistent cognitive difficulties and depression and functional outcomes in people with Major Depressive Disorder

Matcham, F, Simblett, S K, Leighty, D, Dalby, M, Siddi, S, Haro, J M, Lamers, F, Penninx, B W H J, Bruce, S, Nica, R, Zormpas, S, Gilpin, G, White, K M, Oetzmann, C, Annas, P and The RADAR-CNS consortium, (2022) The association between persistent cognitive difficulties and depression and functional outcomes in people with Major Depressive Disorder. Psychological Medicine. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0033-2917

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Background: Cognitive symptoms are common during and following episodes of depression. Little is known about the persistence of self-reported and performance-based cognition with depression and functional outcomes.

Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a prospective naturalistic observational clinical cohort study of individuals with recurrent Major Depressive Disorder (MDD; N=623). Participants completed app-based self-reported and performance-based cognitive function assessments alongside validated measures of depression, functional disability, and self-esteem every three months. Participants were followed-up for a maximum of 2-years. Multilevel hierarchically nested modelling was employed to explore between- and within-participant variation over time to identify whether persistent cognitive difficulties are related to levels of depression and functional impairment during follow-up.

Results: 508 individuals (81.5%) provided data (mean age: 46.6, SD: 15.6; 76.2% female). Increasing persistence of self-reported cognitive difficulty was associated with higher levels of depression and functional impairment throughout the follow-up. In comparison to low persistence of objective cognitive difficulty (<25% of timepoints), those with high persistence (>75% of timepoints) reported significantly higher levels of depression (B=5.17, SE=2.21, p=0.019) and functional impairment (B=4.82, SE=1.79, p=0.002) over time. Examination of the individual cognitive modules shows that persistently impaired executive function is associated with worse functioning, and poor processing speed is particularly important for worsened depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: We replicated previous findings of greater persistence of cognitive difficulty with increasing severity of depression and further demonstrate that these cognitive difficulties are associated with pervasive functional disability. Difficulties with cognition may be an indicator and target for further treatment input.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2022 17:23
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2023 10:30

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