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J Affect Disord. 2008 Sep;110(1-2):55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.01.002. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Chronic forms of major depression are still undertreated in the 21st century: systematic assessment of 801 patients presenting for treatment.

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Department of Psychiatry, Weill-Cornell Medical Center, 525 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA.


During a multisite, NIMH-sponsored clinical trial entitled, "Research Evaluating the Value of Augmentation of Medication by Psychotherapy" (REVAMP), we assessed the adequacy of prior antidepressant treatment in patients with chronic forms of major depressive disorder using the Antidepressant Treatment History Form (ATHF). We hypothesized that when compared to earlier studies treatment adequacy would not have increased over the past decade. We found that only 33% of the 801 subjects enrolled had ever had a prior adequate trial of antidepressant medication. Patients significantly more likely to have received prior adequate antidepressant trials were older, married, white, had a longer duration of illness, had more melancholic features or met criteria for the melancholic subtype or met lifetime criteria for panic disorder. The hypothesis that rates of treatment adequacy have not significantly increased over the past decade was supported. These results and the consistency of similar results over time point to the dire need for patient and provider education regarding the signs and symptoms of depression and its treatment.

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