Open Access Research

Comparison of health-related quality of life among patients using atypical antipsychotics for treatment of depression: results from the National Health and Wellness Survey

Iftekhar Kalsekar1, Jan-Samuel Wagner2, Marco DiBonaventura2*, Jay Bates1, Robert Forbes3 and Tony Hebden1

Author Affiliations

1 Bristol-Myers Squibb, 777 Scudders Mill Road, Plainsboro, NJ, 08536, USA

2 Health Sciences Practice, Kantar Health, 11 Madison Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY, 10010, USA

3 Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2012, 10:81  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-81

Published: 17 July 2012



Use of atypical antipsychotics (AA) in combination with an antidepressant is recommended as an augmentation strategy for patients with depression. However, there is a paucity of data comparing aripiprazole and other AAs in terms of patient reported outcomes. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the levels of HRQoL and health utility scores in patients with depression using aripiprazole compared with patients using olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone and ziprasidone.


Data were obtained from the 2009, 2010, and 2011 National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), a cross-sectional, internet-based survey that is representative of the adult US population. Only those patients who reported being diagnosed with depression and taking an antidepressant and an atypical antipsychotic for depression were included. Patients taking an atypical antipsychotic for less than 2 months or who reported being diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia were excluded. Patients taking aripiprazole were compared with patients taking other atypical antipsychotics. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and health utilities were assessed using the Short Form 12-item (SF-12) health survey. Differences between groups were analyzed using General Linear Models (GLM) controlling for demographic and health characteristics.


Overall sample size was 426 with 59.9% taking aripiprazole (n = 255) and 40.1% (n = 171) taking another atypical antipsychotic (olanzapine (n = 19), quetiapine (n = 127), risperidone (n = 14) or ziprasidone (n = 11)). Of the SF-12 domains, mean mental component summary (MCS) score (p = .018), bodily pain (p = .047), general health (p = .009) and emotional role limitations (p = .009) were found to be significantly higher in aripiprazole users indicating better HRQoL compared to other atypical antipsychotics. After controlling for demographic and health characteristics, patients taking aripiprazole reported significantly higher mean mental SF-12 component summary (34.10 vs. 31.43, p = .018), bodily pain (55.19 vs. 49.05, p = .047), general health (50.05 vs. 43.07, p = .009), emotional role limitations (49.44 vs. 41.83, p = .009), and SF-6D utility scores (0.59 vs. 0.56, p = .042).


Comparison of patients taking aripiprazole with a cohort of patients using another AA for depression demonstrated that aripiprazole was independently associated with better (both statistically and clinically) HRQoL and health utilities.