[en] In this paper, we present a general derivation of a modified fluctuation-dissipation theorem (MFDT) valid near an arbitrary non-stationary state for a system obeying Markovian dynamics. We show that the method for deriving modified fluctuation-dissipation theorems near non-equilibrium stationary states used by Prost et al (2009 Phys. Rev. Lett. 103 090601) is generalizable to non-stationary states. This result follows from both standard linear response theory and from a transient fluctuation theorem, analogous to the Hatano?Sasa relation. We show that this modified fluctuation-dissipation theorem can be interpreted at the trajectory level using the notion of stochastic trajectory entropy in a way which is similar to what has been done recently in the case of the MFDT near non-equilibrium steady states (NESS). We illustrate this framework with two solvable examples: the first example corresponds to a Brownian particle in a harmonic trap subjected to a quench of temperature and to a time-dependent stiffness; the second example is a classic model of coarsening systems, namely the 1D Ising model with Glauber dynamics.