Depressive Symptoms and Health-Related Quality of Life

  • A. A. Dan
  • Z. M. Younossi
Reference work entry


Approximately 121 million people in the world experience  depression, making depression a leading cause of disability. The preponderance of research indicates that depression has a significant influence on patients'  quality of life. Compared to non-depressed individuals, patients with depression have poorer physical, social, occupational, and psychological functioning; life satisfaction; and self-perceived health. Depressed patients also tend to have more problems with their interpersonal relationships. The impact of depression on quality of life has been found to be similar to or worse than the impact of other chronic diseases, such as heart problems and diabetes, on quality of life. Research investigating how antidepressants affect quality of life has concluded that antidepressants tend to improve quality of life. Antidepressants, however, have the greatest influence on quality of life domains in the acute phase of treatment. In the maintenance and continuation stages of treatment, antidepressants mostly serve to maintain the improvements experienced during the acute stage. There is mixed evidence about the quality of life of patients after they recover from depression, with some research suggesting that patients' quality of life is still somewhat poorer than patients who did not experience depression. Patients who are in treatment for depression and experience a relapse tend to lose the improvements they had in their quality of life due to  pharmacotherapy.


Depressive Symptom Life Satisfaction Major Depressive Disorder Major Depression Depressed Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


disability adjusted life years


major depressive disorder


World Health Organization


years lived with disability


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Dan
  • Z. M. Younossi

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