Neuromuscular Disorders

Managing Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders

Long-Term Change in Comorbid Depression in Patients With Neuromuscular Disorders (N = 490)

2010 – 2022

Of the patients treated in the Neuromuscular Center, 490 were found to have depression at the time of their initial office visits. At follow-up, depressive symptoms improved in 43.5% of patients, remained stable in 49.6%, and worsened in 6.9% (median duration between visits, 540 days; range, 93-5093 days). Depression is a treatable comorbidity in all patient groups in the long term, regardless of the neuromuscular diagnosis. The graph displays changes in the 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 (70%) in patients with mononeuropathy (median duration between visits, 1828.5 days; range, 93-5034 days) and the least often in patients with autonomic disorders (33.3%) (median duration between visits, 447 days; range, 97-5012 days). 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. N = patients with PHQ-9 data available for 2 visits between 2010 and 2022 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.