Subjective experiences of neurocognitive functioning in young people with major depression

Clinical implications Our findings suggest that neurocognitive functioning should be evaluated and addressed in young people with major depressive disorder

Catherine Morey-Nase

2019

Scholarcy highlights

  • Research suggests that young people with major depressive disorder experience neurocognitive deficits and that these are associated with poorer functional and clinical outcomes
  • Whether neurocognitive impairments are: pre-existing traits or risk markers that predict later onset of MDD; state-related deficits that fluctuate with depressive symptoms; and/or ‘scar’ impairments that remain during periods of remission and worsen with illness progression
  • Exploration of the subjective experience of neurocognition in young people with MDD revealed five main themes, capturing the: 1) experience of neurocognitive complaints; 2) temporal relationship between depression and neurocognition; 3) impact of neurocognition on functioning; 4) strategies and supports used to cope with neurocognitive difficulties; and 5) relationship between neurocognitive difficulties and treatment engagement and efficacy
  • Clinical implications Our findings suggest that neurocognitive functioning should be evaluated and addressed in young people with MDD
  • Based on the lived experience of young people with MDD, neurocognitive complaints are common, demonstrate a bidirectional relationship with depressive symptomatology, and significantly disrupt vocational, social and independent functioning, treatment engagement and psychological wellbeing
  • Lack of recognition of subjective neurocognitive difficulties may exacerbate personal challenges faced by young people with MDD
  • Based on the lived experience of young people with major depressive disorder, neurocognitive complaints are common, demonstrate a bidirectional relationship with depressive symptomatology, and significantly disrupt vocational, social and independent functioning, treatment engagement and psychological wellbeing

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