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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 May;20(5):346-55. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2009.11.011. Epub 2010 Jan 22.

Outcomes of 1014 naturalistically treated inpatients with major depressive episode.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany.


Due to strict exclusion criteria the generalizability of randomized controlled trials appears to be limited. Therefore, outcomes of naturalistically treated depressive inpatients with respect to depression mean scores, response and remission rates were evaluated. This was a multicenter trial, conducted in 12 psychiatric hospitals in Germany with a follow-up period of 4years. Patients were assessed biweekly from admission to discharge with diverse psychopathological rating scales. All patients (n=1014) met DSM-IV criteria for major depressive episode. Results are presented only for the acute inpatient treatment period. Mean inpatient treatment duration was 53.6+/-47.5days. Reduction on depression scales was evident as soon as week 2 and remained significant. Mean HAMD-17 total score decreased from 22.3 to 8.8. A total of 68.9% were classified as responders (> or =50% reduction of the initial HAMD-17 score), whereas 51.9% achieved remission (HAMD-17 total score < or =7). Of those who ultimately achieved response more than 40% did so within the first 2weeks. An individualized naturalistic inpatient treatment approach appears to be beneficial in terms of effectiveness.

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