Effects of anhedonia on days to relapse among smokers with a history of depression: a brief report

Jessica Cook, Bonnie Spring, Dennis McChargue, Neal Doran
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2010, 12 (9): 978-82

INTRODUCTION: Despite the strong co-occurrence between lifetime prevalence of depression and smoking, a history of major depressive disorder (MDD history) does not reliably predict smoking cessation outcomes. However, depression is a heterogeneous syndrome comprising several dimensions (e.g., anhedonia, vegetative symptoms, negative affect), and each symptom expression may differentially influence cessation failure. Measuring proximal depressive dimensions may provide a more reliable way of identifying MDD history smokers most at risk for smoking relapse. Anhedonia, in particular, is a core feature of depression that may increase risk for smoking relapse among MDD history smokers. The primary goal of the present study was to investigate the relation between anhedonia and relapse latency among MDD history smokers following a brief smoking cessation workshop.

METHODS: Participants (N = 45, 48.9% female), who were euthymic regular smokers with a history of MDD, were randomized to 1 of 3 treatment groups that all involved participation in a daylong group workshop. Workshops were followed by 48 hr of bioverified abstinence and weekly follow-up visits for 1 month.

RESULTS: Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to evaluate the effect of anhedonia on relapse latency 30 days following quitting smoking. Results showed that higher levels of anhedonia predicted reduced relapse latencies, both with and without prequit depressive symptom severity included in the model.

DISCUSSION: Results suggest that anhedonia may constitute a proximal risk factor identifying depressive history smokers more likely to relapse to smoking.

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