Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 701–707 | Cite as

Rate and Predictors of Persistent Major Depressive Disorder in a Nationally Representative Sample

  • Elizabeth Reisinger Walker
  • Benjamin G. Druss
Brief Communication


This study examined predictors of persistent major depressive disorder over 10 years, focusing on the effects of clinical variables, physical health, and social support. Data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States in 1995–1996 and 2004–2006 were analyzed. Logistic regression was used to predict non-recovery from major depression among individuals who met clinical-based criteria for major depressive disorder at baseline. Fifteen percent of the total sample was classified as having major depression in 1995–1996; of these individuals, 37 % had major depression in 2004–2006. Baseline variables that were significantly associated with persistent major depression at follow-up were being female, having never married, having two or more chronic medical conditions, experiencing activity limitation, and less contact with family. Therefore, treatment strategies focused on physical health, social support, and mental health needs are necessary to comprehensively address the factors that contribute to persistent major depressive disorder.


Major depressive disorder Social support Chronic medical condition Anxiety 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Reisinger Walker
    • 1
  • Benjamin G. Druss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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