Subclinical Depressive Symptoms and Continued Cannabis Use: Predictors of Negative Outcomes in First Episode Psychosis
González Ortega, Itxaso
Echeburua Odriozola, Enrique
Matute Almau, Carlos José
González Pinto Arrillaga, Ana María
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PLOS ONE 10(4) 2015 : (2015) // Article ID e0123707
Background Although depressive symptoms in first episode psychosis have been associated with cannabis abuse, their influence on the long-term functional course of FEP patients who abuse cannabis is unknown. The aims of the study were to examine the influence of subclinical depressive symptoms on the long-term outcome in first episode-psychosis patients who were cannabis users and to assess the influence of these subclinical depressive symptoms on the ability to quit cannabis use. Methods 64 FEP patients who were cannabis users at baseline were followed-up for 5 years. Two groups were defined: (a) patients with subclinical depressive symptoms at least once during follow-up (DPG), and (b) patients without subclinical depressive symptoms during follow-up (NDPG). Psychotic symptoms were measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), depressive symptoms using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS)-17, and psychosocial functioning was assessed using the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). A linear mixed-effects model was used to analyze the combined influence of cannabis use and subclinical depressive symptomatology on the clinical outcome. Results Subclinical depressive symptoms were associated with continued abuse of cannabis during follow-up (beta=4.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.78 to 11.17; P=.001) and with worse functioning (beta=-5.50; 95% CI: -9.02 to -0.33; P=.009). Conclusions Subclinical depressive symptoms and continued cannabis abuse during follow-up could be predictors of negative outcomes in FEP patients.