What is the "rule of thirds" concerning the prognosis of late-onset major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Millard suggested the "rule of thirds" concerning the prognosis of late-onset depression, which states that regardless of treatment, approximately one third of patients will manifest remission, another one third will remain symptomatic in the same condition, and the remaining one third will worsen. [61] In fact, research has shown that approximately 60% of patients with late-onset depression will have at least 1 recurrence, and up to 40% of these patients will have chronic or continuously recurrent depression. [62]


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