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A pilot study of the relationship between problem-solving skills and outcome in major depressive disorder

Lookup NU author(s): Anne Garland


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Three methods of assessing problem-solving skills are described in the literature: questionnaires, self-report inventories and verbal assessment of the resolution of problem scenarios. These three approaches were used to assess problem-solving ability in a sample of 20 patients with unipolar major depressive disorder, who were treated with antidepressant medication alone at a hospital out-patient clinic. It was found that baseline deficits in problem-solving skills were significantly associated with prognosis at 3- and 6-month follow-up. Self-ratings of perceived self-control and confidence rather chan subjective problem-solving effectiveness were important predictors of final outcome. Differences in perceived and actual problem-solving ability emerged over time. The reasons for these differences in subjective and observer assessments are unclear. The data appear ro demonstrate that problem-solving deficits in depression represent both state and trait phenomena.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Garland A, Harrington J, House R, Scott J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Medical Psychology

Year: 2000

Volume: 73

Issue: Pt. 3

Pages: 303-309

ISSN (print): 0007-1129

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons


DOI: 10.1348/000711200160525

PubMed id: 11003371


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