Article Title: Baseline Depression as Risk Factor and Interferon Induced Depression in Hepatitis C Patients

Author(s): Salma Andleeb, Shaheed Benazeer Bhuto, Farhana Jahangir, Nighat Sahaheen and Nayab Nasir

Institute(s): Women University, Peshawar; Department of Psychology, University of Peshawar; Jinnah College for Women, University of Peshawar; National Health Services, UK

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2016, Vol. 31, No. 2, 569-586

Correspondence Address: Nighat Shaheen, Jinnah College for Women, University of Peshawar, Pakistan. E-mail:


The major goal of the present study was to investigate the impact of baseline depression as a risk factor for the subsequent development of interferon induced depression in hepatitis C patients. The sample consisted of 57 hepatitis C patients diagnosed and scheduled for interferon alpha therapy in different hospitals of Peshawar. Interrupted Time Series Design was used as the analytic approach. The Siddiqui-Shah Depression Scale (Siddiqui & Shah, 1997) was administered to measure depression in these patients at baseline, at week 24th, and after completion of the treatment. Results revealed that hepatitis C patients having higher baseline depression experience significantly higher levels of depression during and after completion of the treatment than those with low baseline depression. The data support hypotheses and inferred an easy way to identify patients who would be at a higher risk of developing interferon induced depression during the therapy. The findings concluded that systematic screening and treatment of depression at pre-interferon stage, during the course, and after completion of the therapy was essential for good adherence to antiviral treatment. Findings have important clinical implications in terms of neuropsychiatric safety of the interferon therapy.

Keywords. Hepatitis C, interferon alpha therapy, depression, patients.