E-ISSN 1309-4866
Research Article
Interferon-Alpha Treatment in Patients with Chronic Viral Hepatitis C: The Incidence of Major Depression and Changes in Quality of Life
Arch Neuropsychiatry 2008; 45: 130-134

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Abstract

Objective: There are three aims of this study:- 1) to examine the incidence of interferon alpha (IFN-a) induced major depression, 2) to examine the associations between IFN-a induced major depression and clinical and sociodemographic characteristics and 3) to examine the impact of IFN-a on the quality of life in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

 

Method: Thirty-six patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection were evaluated by using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale-Brief  (WHOQOL-BREF) before the treatment and 8 weeks after interferon alpha treatment.

 

Results: Major depression developed in 10 (27.8%) of 36 patients during treatment with IFN-a. During the IFN-a treatment, HDRS and HARS scores significantly increased, and WHOQOL-BREF subscale scores of physical health, psychological health and environment significantly decreased. It was found that HDRS scores significantly increased in patients receiving IFN-a even if major depression did not develop at 8 weeks after the treatment. IFN-a induced major depression was associated with higher basal scores of HDRS and HARS, and lower basal scores of WHOQOL-BREF.

 

Conclusion: IFN-a treatment is associated with an increased risk for major depression and it has a negative effect on the quality of life in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The  mental status of all patients were evaluated before and after the IFN-a treatment.

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