Despite the evidence of better outcomes with less-abusive treatments, depression management guidelines still prescribe antidepressants, although most patients cease taking them very soon. These guidelines reflect powerful interests of pharmaceutical companies and psychiatry, which have limited the scope for addressing the social determinants of distress. A clear-sighted revision of the guidelines would incorporate a serious engagement with the psychosocial determinants of distress. In particular, guidelines should include recommendations on adhering to antidepressant refills.
Collaborative care is a multi-part intervention for depression that links primary care providers with mental health specialists. Studies have shown that collaborative care is effective in reducing depression symptoms and improving adherence to treatment. Further, it has been shown to increase remission and recovery from depression. To learn more about how collaborative care can improve depression management, read the following article. Here, we’ll look at some of the evidence for and against the intervention.
A meta-analysis of 79 trials found that collaborative care improved treatment outcomes in patients with depression. It was associated with improved patient outcomes and increased the number of prescriptions and cognitive behavioral therapy. Additionally, patients in the collaborative care group reported higher improvement than those in the usual care group at three months. Further, it was found that collaborative care was faster than conventional depression treatments. We are excited to see how it changes patient care. But is it really better?
According to the USPSTF, screening for depression should be done in all adults over age 18. The rates of depression vary widely by race, sex, educational level, marital status, and employment status. Generally, rates are higher in women, young adults, and nonwhite individuals. Also, people with a history of depression or other serious psychiatric illness are at increased risk. People who are unemployed or undereducated are also at higher risk.
There are a number of limitations to depression screening. Several large randomized controlled trials have not been conducted, and more research is needed to determine its accuracy and effectiveness. Also, data on the optimal interval for screening are lacking. Moreover, there is little information on the effects of depression treatment, particularly in pregnancy and postpartum women. Further research is needed to assess barriers to establishing effective systems of care.
The treatment guidelines for depression vary, and the exact treatments and duration of these measures will vary from one individual to another. Generally, these treatments include antidepressant medication that takes up to six weeks to begin working. Other treatment options include lifestyle changes, education, and social support. These methods are usually not sufficient for treating the symptoms of depression. In severe cases, patients may require hospitalization. A psychiatrist may prescribe antipsychotic medication or other psychiatric medications.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) involves stimulating certain nerve cells in the brain by delivering electrical pulses. This treatment is often prescribed for individuals who have failed to respond to antidepressant medications or who are at high risk of suicide. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is another form of treatment for depression that does not require any drugs or surgery. This method involves implanting a small magnetic coil in the skull that stimulates nerve cells in the brain. The treatment of depression can include psychotherapy and lifestyle changes.
Adherence to antidepressant refills
The goal of this study was to determine the factors associated with poor adherence to antidepressant refills in adults. The prevalence of nonadherence varied by race and ethnicity, with Asian patients less likely to complete their second antidepressant fill within 180 days compared to non-Hispanic whites and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. This study also found no correlation between prior mental hospitalizations and adherence to antidepressants.
To analyze the relationship between the two, the authors analyzed data from a public health insurance database and linked it to claims data from physicians in Quebec. They found that the association between initial prescription filling and non-adherence to antidepressant refills varied across treatment indications. In addition, adherence to antidepressant refills varied by patient’s history of using antidepressants.
Barriers to change
Earlier studies have suggested that many workplaces fail to provide adequate mental health services to their employees who experience depression. Among these workers, 52.8% of respondents did not acknowledge that they had depression but were still not seeking treatment. These findings are consistent with those found by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. However, barriers to accessing mental health services are often not just one-time events. Some individuals may experience both structural and attitudinal barriers that make it difficult to access specialized services.
One barrier to treatment for depression is the stigma of the disorder. While the Affordable Care Act has made it easier for individuals to obtain health insurance, more work is needed to integrate screening and treatment. Understanding the specific cultural stigma associated with depression will help in developing successful initiatives and campaigns. Finally, effective treatment strategies will need to be available to all strata of society. And as a result, we should aim for a measurable reduction of these barriers.