Depression and anxiety disorders are common at all ages. Approximately one out of three people in the Netherlands will be faced with them at some time during their lives. It is still not clear why some people recover quickly and why others suffer for long periods of time. The Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) was therefore designed to investigate the course of depression and anxiety disorders over a period of several years. The main aim of NESDA is to determine the (psychological, social, biological and genetic) factors that influence the development and the long-term prognosis of anxiety and depression.
We have recruited 2981 participants with and without symptoms from primary care practices and specialised mental health institutions in the regions of Amsterdam and Leiden, and in the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland. The ZonMw GeestKracht program has subsidized the study until 2012, after that the study is mainly subsidized by the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, Leiden University Medical Center and University Medical Center Groningen.
We finished our 6th measurement in 2016, twelve years after starting NESDA in 2004. We have added a few smaller studies to NESDA in 2014: the sibling-study (brothers and sisters of NESDA participants), a study to look at daily fluctuations in mood using smartphones (EMA/actigraphy) and an extension of our imaging study. More than 2000 people are still participating in NESDA. In 2019 our 7th measurement will start, 13 years after the first people were included.
Prof. Brenda Penninx is P.I. of the NESDA study.