Two-year effectiveness of a stepped-care depression prevention intervention and predictors of incident depression in primary care patients with diabetes type 2 and/or coronary heart disease and subthreshold depression: data from the Step-Dep cluster randomised controlled trial

Alide Danielle Pols, Marcel C. Adriaanse, Maurits W. van Tulder, Martijn W. Heymans, Judith E. Bosmans, Susan E. van Dijk, Harm W.J. van Marwijk

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INTRODUCTION: Major depressive disorders (MDD), diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2) and coronary heart disease (CHD) are leading contributors to the global burden of disease and often co-occur.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the 2-year effectiveness of a stepped-care intervention to prevent MDD compared with usual care and to develop a prediction model for incident depression in patients with DM2 and/or CHD with subthreshold depression.

METHODS: Data of 236 Dutch primary care patients with DM2/CHD with subthreshold depression (Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) score ≥6, no current MDD according to the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria)) who participated in the Step-Dep trial were used. A PHQ-9 score of ≥10 at minimally one measurement during follow-up (at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months) was used to determine the cumulative incidence of MDD. Potential demographic and psychological predictors were measured at baseline via web-based self-reported questionnaires and evaluated using a multivariable logistic regression model. Model performance was assessed with the Hosmer-Lemeshow test, Nagelkerke's R2 explained variance and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Bootstrapping techniques were used to internally validate our model.

RESULTS: 192 patients (81%) were available at 2-year follow-up. The cumulative incidence of MDD was 97/192 (51%). There was no statistically significant overall treatment effect over 24 months of the intervention (OR 1.37; 95% CI 0.52 to 3.55). Baseline levels of anxiety, depression, the presence of >3 chronic diseases and stressful life events predicted the incidence of MDD (AUC 0.80, IQR 0.79-0.80; Nagelkerke's R2 0.34, IQR 0.33-0.36).

CONCLUSION: A model with 4 factors predicted depression incidence during 2-year follow-up in patients with DM2/CHD accurately, based on the AUC. The Step-Dep intervention did not influence the incidence of MDD. Future depression prevention programmes should target patients with these 4 predictors present, and aim to reduce both anxiety and depressive symptoms.NTR3715.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere020412
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Early online date28 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • coronary heart disease
  • preventive medicine

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