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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 319634, 11 pages
Research Article

Analysing Psychosocial Difficulties in Depression: A Content Comparison between Systematic Literature Review and Patient Perspective

1Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro Investigación Biométrica en Red (CIBER), C/Diego de León 62, 28006 Madrid, Spain
2Departamento de Psiquiatría, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, C/Arzobispo Morcillo 4, 28029 Madrid, Spain
3Instituto de Investigación de la Princesa (IIS-IP), Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, C/Diego de León 62, 28006 Madrid, Spain

Received 4 February 2014; Revised 6 May 2014; Accepted 27 May 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: François Beck

Copyright © 2014 Kaloyan Kamenov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite all the knowledge on depression, it is still unclear whether current literature covers all the psychosocial difficulties (PSDs) important for depressed patients. The aim of the present study was to identify the gaps in the recent literature concerning PSDs and their related variables. Psychosocial difficulties were defined according to the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). A comparative approach between a systematic literature review, a focus group, and individual interviews with depressed patients was used. Literature reported the main psychosocial difficulties almost fully, but not in the same degree of importance as patients’ reports. Furthermore, the covered areas were very general and related to symptomatology. Regarding the related variables, literature focused on clinical variables and treatments above all but did not report that many psychosocial difficulties influence other PSDs. This study identified many existing research gaps in recent literature mainly in the area of related variables of PSDs. Future steps in this direction are needed. Moreover, we suggest that clinicians select interventions covering not only symptoms, but also PSDs and their modifiable related variables. Furthermore, identification of interventions for particular psychosocial difficulties and personalisation of therapies according to individuals’ PSDs are necessary.