IN THIS ISSUE of the ARCHIVES, Kocsis et al1 present the results of their study on maintenance treatment for chronic depression. This study is an important sequel to their equally important earlier demonstration that patients with various forms of chronic depression do, indeed, respond to appropriate pharmacotherapy.2 With the publication of these results, we now also have evidence that the vast majority of responders to pharmacotherapy remain well when they receive the maintenance pharmacotherapy. These results nicely parallel the earlier findings of Prien et al3 and Frank et al4 with respect to maintenance treatment of recurrent depression.
In their present report on maintenance outcomes, Kocsis et al1 also discuss the "low" response rates to acute-phase pharmacotherapy in this population. There are several plausible explanations for the response rates obtained in the acute phase of their trial. First, Kocsis and colleagues chose the most stringent definition
Kupfer DJ, Frank E. Maintenance Therapy for Chronic DepressionA Controlled Clinical Trial of Desipramine. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(9):775-776. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830090019003