The British Journal of Psychiatry
Changes in the quality of life of patients receiving antidepressant medication in primary care: validation of the WHOQOL-100


Background The study arises from the need for good quality of life (QOL) assessment and a new comprehensive generic QOL profile for cross-cultural use.

Aims To examine changes in the QOL of patients receiving antidepressants from a general practitioner, and to assess the validity and sensitivity of a new QOL measure, the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (100-item version) (WHOQOL-100).

Method Patients with moderate depression (n=106) completed the WHOQOL-100 and Beck Depression Inventory at the start of treatment and again after 6 weeks.

Results Depression decreased significantly over 2 months and 74% reported feeling better. WHOQOL-100 scores increased in 24 of the 25 facets, demonstrating that QOL improves significantly in the 8 weeks following the start of antidepressant treatment. It also shows the instrument's validity and sensitivity to changes in clinical condition.

Conclusions The UK WHOQOL-100 is confirmed as excellent to good. Antidepressants significantly and comprehensively improve QOL.

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