Do psychosocial factors influence outcome in severely depressed female psychiatric in-patients?
B Andrew, K Hawton, J Fagg, D Westbrook


Fifty-nine women admitted to hospital because of severe depression were studied prospectively during hospital admission and nine months following hospital discharge in order to identify psychosocial and illness factors associated with prognosis. Outcome was measured in terms of both depression scores and recovery at the time of follow-up. In keeping with the findings of other studies, the outcome was often poor, with only 54% having recovered nine months after discharge, poorer outcome being associated with more negative self-esteem measured when the women were depressed and with suicidal ideas. The findings indicate that in severely depressed women likely to be admitted to hospital, psychosocial factors may have less relevance to outcome, at least in the short term, than in less severely depressed patients studied in community or out-patient samples.