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August 1982

Relapse in Major Depressive DisorderAnalysis With the Life Table

Author Affiliations

From the Collaborative Program on the Psychohiology of Depression, Clini Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr Keller and Ms Wolfe are at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Dr Lavori is at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(8):911-915. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290080031005

• With the use of life tables to describe time while patients were well and subsequent rates of relapse for 75 patients after their recovery from an episode of major depressive disorder in a naturalistic study, a high risk of relapse was detected shortly after recovery. Twenty-four percent of patients relapsed within 12 weeks at risk, and 12% of patients relapsed within four weeks at risk. The presence of an underlying chronic depression and three or more previous affective episodes predicted a statistically significant increase in the rate of relapse. These data were used to develop an exponential model of relapse probability for a subgroup of the study population.