Neuromuscular Disorders

Managing Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders

Long-Term Change in Comorbid Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders (N = 298)

2010 – 2019

Of the patients treated in the Neuromuscular Center, 298 were found to have depression at the time of their initial office visits. At follow-up, depressive symptoms improved in 45.6% of patients, remained stable in 45.6%, and worsened in 8.7% (median duration between visits, 798.5 days; range, 91-3927). 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 (71.4%) in patients with mononeuropathy (median duration between visits, 313 days; range, 126-1441) and the least often in patients with polyneuropathy (40%) (median duration between visits, 872 days; range, 119-2911). 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 2019 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.