Baseline Predictors of Cognitive Change in the Treatment of Major Depressive Episode: Systematic Review

SOURCE: BJPsych Open. 6(6) (no pagination), 2020. Article Number: e131.


AUTHORS: Barczyk Z.A.; Douglas K.M.; Porter R.J.

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is a core feature of depression and has a negative effect on a person’s functioning, in psychosocial and interpersonal areas, and on workforce performance. Cognitive impairment often persists, even with the remittance of mood symptoms. One potential
way of improving treatment of cognitive impairment would be to identify variables that predict cognitive change in patients with depression.

AIMS: To systematically examine findings from studies that investigate baseline variables and how they predict, or correlate with, cognitive change in mood disorders, and to examine methodological issues from these studies.

METHOD: Studies that directly measured associations between at least one baseline variable and change in cognitive outcome in patients with current major depressive episode were identified using PubMed and Web of Science databases. Narrative review technique was used because of the
heterogeneity of patient samples, outcome measures and study procedures. The review was registered on PROSPERO with registration number CRD42020150975.

RESULTS: Twenty-four studies met the inclusion criteria. Evidence from the present review for prediction of cognitive change from baseline variables was limited for demographic factors, with some preliminary evidence for depression, cognitive and biological factors. Identification of patterns across studies was difficult because of methodological variability across studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the present review suggest there may be some baseline variables that are useful in predicting cognitive change in mood disorders. This is an area warranting further research focus.