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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 828965, 6 pages
Research Article

Remission from Depression among Adults with Arthritis: A 12-Year Followup of a Population-Based Study

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1V4

Received 30 July 2013; Revised 27 October 2013; Accepted 29 October 2013; Published 27 January 2014

Academic Editor: Janusz K. Rybakowski

Copyright © 2014 Esme Fuller-Thomson 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.


Individuals with arthritis are vulnerable to depression. In this study, we calculated time to remission from depression in a representative community-based sample of depressed Canadians with arthritis who were followed for 12 years. We conducted secondary analysis of a longitudinal panel study, the National Population Health Survey, which was begun in 1994/95 and has included biennial assessment of depression since that time. Our analysis focused on a total of 216 respondents with arthritis who were depressed at baseline. The mean time to remission from depression was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier procedure and compared across categories of each of the potential predictors. The percentage of those no longer screening positive for depression was calculated at two years after baseline. At two years after baseline, 71% of the sample had achieved remission from depression. Time to remission was significantly longer for those depressed adults who were under the age of 55, those who reported more chronic pain at baseline, those with comorbid migraine, and those who experienced childhood physical abuse or parental addictions. These findings highlight the importance of screening for these factors to improve the targeting of interventions to depressed patients with arthritis.