Neuromuscular Disorders

Managing Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders

Long-Term Change in Comorbid Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders (N = 407)

2010 – 2021

Of the patients treated in the Neuromuscular Center, 407 were found to have depression at the time of their initial office visits. At follow-up, depressive symptoms improved in 53.1% of patients, remained stable in 39.8%, and worsened in 7.1% (median duration between visits, 659 days; range, 90-4684). Depression is a treatable comorbidity in all patient groups in the long term, regardless of the neuromuscular diagnosis. The graph displays changes in Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) score from initial visit to follow-up for the various neuromuscular conditions. Improvement in depressive symptoms occurred the most often (67.4%) in patients with mononeuropathy (median duration between visits, 784 days; range, 91-4577) and the least often in patients with autonomic disorders (43.5%) (median duration between visits, 773 days; range, 98-4684). Depression was defined by a baseline PHQ-9 score of ≥ 10 at the time of the patient’s initial office visit. Clinically meaningful change was defined as a total point change ≥ 5.1. N = patients with PHQ-9 data available for 2 visits between 2010 and 2021 at least 90 days apart.¹

  1. Löwe B, Unützer J, Callahan CM, Perkins AJ, Kroenke K. Monitoring depression treatment outcomes with the patient health questionnaire-9. Med Care. 2004 Dec;42(12):1194-1201.