Symptom severity of depressive symptoms impacts on social cognition performance in current but not remitted major depressive disorder

Tracy Air, Michael J. Weightman, Bernhard T. Baune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the social cognitive functioning of participants with depression when compared with healthy controls, and to assess the impact of symptom severity. One hundred and eight patients with depression (66 remitted and 42 current) and 52 healthy controls were assessed using the Wechsler Advanced Clinical Solutions: Social Perception Subtest, measuring facial affect recognition in isolation and in combination with prosody and body language interpretation. When healthy controls, remitted depression and currently depressed groups were compared, no associations were found on any of the social cognition subscales. Severity of depressive and anxious symptoms predicted performance on all social cognition subscales in currently depressed participants, controlling for age, gender, education and psychotropic medication. Affective depressive symptoms were inversely related to ACS Pairs and Prosody subscales, while somatic symptoms were inversely related to the ACS Affect Recognition and Total scores. There was no association between severity and the WAIS ACS in remitted depression participants. People with MDD exhibiting more severe depressive and anxious symptoms and a cluster of affective symptoms have greater difficulty undertaking complex social cognitive tasks. Given the state like nature to these deficits, these impairments may cause problems with day to day functioning and have implications in targeted therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1118
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume6
Issue numberAug
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Facial affect
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Prosody
  • Social cognition

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