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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 58 (2016) 7, 504 - 512

New research

Quality of life and symptoms in patients with chronic depression and anxiety after a self-management training: a randomised controlled trial

A. Muntingh, M. Laheij, H. Sinnema, M. Zoun, A. van Balkom, A. Schene, J. Spijker

background Evidence-based interventions aimed at patient rehabilitation are not readily available in outpatient mental health care for patients with chronic anxiety and/or depression.
aim To evaluate the effects that the program ‘Rehabilitation through self-management’ had on the life and symptoms of patients who had received this programme for six months in an outpatient mental health care setting.
method As part of a randomised controlled trial, patients were assigned to receive the programme (intervention group) or care as usual (control group). After six months we evaluated the change in the quality of life (World Health Organisation Quality of Life assessment, Brief version (whoqol-bref)) and the change in anxiety symptoms (Beck Anxiety Inventory (bai)) and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire (phq-9)) using linear mixed models analysis.
results We included 141 patients from 12 participating mental health care institutions. We found no significant difference between the quality of life or symptoms of patients in the intervention group and those in the control groups. Differences in change scores on the whoqol-bref, bai and phq-9 were 0.74 (p=0.63), 0.39 (p=0.81) and -0.07 (p=0.95) respectively. Higher scores on the bai and phq-9 had a negative influence on the effect of the intervention.
conclusion After six months the programme had no significant effect on patients’ quality of life or symptoms. These results reflect the chronicity of symptoms and the relation between symptoms and the quality of life in this patient population.

keywords chronic anxiety, depression, level of symptoms, functioning, rehabilitation, randomised controlled trial