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J Affect Disord. 1992 Feb;24(2):117-25.

Trends in the prescription of antidepressants in urban and rural general practices.

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Servizio di Psicologia Medica, Università di Verona, Italy.


Antidepressant drug (AD) prescriptions written in the period 1983-1988 by all GPs working in Verona, Italy were analyzed. The data were provided by a local drug information system and calculated as Defined Daily Dose (DDD). The area was divided in 25 districts, classified on the urban-rural continuum according to population density. Two indices of service provision and two demographic measures were also used in the analysis. An increase in the levels of prescription of AD was observed over the 6 years. No correlation was found between DDD/1000 inhabitants/day rate and population density. This was confirmed using multiple regression analysis, which showed that only the proportion of females in the population was significantly associated with AD prescription. Harmonic analysis of the seasonal variation in prescription showed a moderate degree of seasonality in all districts. When using multiple correlation analysis the seasonality was correlated only with the number of pharmacies available in each district.

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