Depressed Mood and Survival in Seriously Ill Hospitalized Adults

Published In: Archives of Internal Medicine, v. 158, no. 4, Feb. 23, 1998, p. 397-404

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1998

by Mary J. Roach, Alfred F. Connors, Jr., Neal V. Dawson, Neil S. Wenger, Albert W. Wu, Joel Tsevat, Norman A. Desbiens, Kenneth E. Covinsky, Daniel S P Schubert

Read More

Access further information on this document at archinte.jamanetwork.com

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the relationship among depressed mood, physical functioning, and severity of illness and to determine the relationship between depressed mood and survival time, controlling for severity of illness, baseline functioning, and characteristics of patients. METHODS: Prospective cohort study of data for 3529 seriously ill hospitalized adults who received care at 5 tertiary care teaching hospitals and who completed a depressed mood assessment 7 to 11 days after admission to the study. The Profile of Mood States depression subscale was used to assess depressed mood. A stratified Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the independent effect of depressed mood on survival time, adjusting for demographic characteristics of patients and health status. RESULTS: Greater magnitudes of depressed mood were associated with worse levels of physical functioning (r = 0.151; P < .001) and more severity of illness. Depressed mood was associated with reduced survival time after adjusting for patient demographics and health status (hazards ratio, 1.134; 95% confidence interval, 1.071-1.200; P < or = .001). CONCLUSION: Seriously ill patients should be assessed for the presence of depressed mood even if they have not been given a diagnosis of depression. Further study is needed to determine whether interventions aimed at relieving depressed mood may improve prognosis.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.