- May 31, 2004Hi everyone. If you're being treated for depression and haven't responded
well to the therapy, you're not alone -- according to new study. (Of course
there is always a "new study" to confuse us just a little more -- lol).
I found this study particularly interesting, though, since I was one who
never responded to treatment for depression, and since I am one who thinks AntiD's
made my symptoms of chronic fatigue and mental status changes worse.
Health - Reuters
Many Fail to Recover with Depression Treatment
Mon May 31, 2004, 11:55 AM ET
By Amy Norton
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -
Many people who receive standard therapy for
depression still suffer from the condition up to two years after starting
treatment, a new study suggests.
The study, which involved more than 1,200 patients diagnosed with depression
at 46 U.S. primary care centers, found that nearly half of those who
received "at least minimally appropriate" depression treatment did not
Minimally appropriate care meant that over a six-month period, patients had
at least four therapy sessions or spent two months or more on
antidepressants. Of patients in the study, 542 received at least this level
of care; however, 261 of them failed to recover after two rounds of
minimally appropriate treatment.
The findings show that despite the availability of therapies that have been
proven effective, there remains a group of patients with particularly
hard-to-treat depression, according to Dr. Catherine Sherbourne of the
research organization RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California.
"What we need is more research on the most effective way to treat this
group," Sherbourne told Reuters Health.
She and her colleagues report their findings in the journal General Hospital
While fewer than half of all patients in the study received what the
researchers deemed minimally adequate care, lack of trying does not seem to
explain the nearly 50-percent rate of non-response among patients who did
get this level of care.
According to Sherbourne's team, patients with persistent depression appeared
to be receiving more-aggressive treatment -- with, for example, 15 percent
being prescribed both drugs and therapy during each of the three six-month
periods the study assessed. That compares with only three percent of
patients who did respond to treatment.
It seems, the researchers write, that patients with persistent depression
and their doctors "were searching for solutions."
Still, according to Sherbourne, it may be that more of these patients need a
combination of medications and therapy, ongoing assessments by their
doctors, or referrals to specialists.
The researchers also found that three patient characteristics made treatment
failure more likely: suicidal thoughts, unemployment and lack of adherence
Suicidal thoughts denote more severe depression, Sherbourne explained, and
lack of work could be a sign of poor functioning in daily life. As for
non-compliance with drugs, she noted, side effects are often to blame when
patients stop taking their medication before they should.
All of these factors could make a person's depression particularly hard to
treat, according to Sherbourne.
Doctors should be "alert" for the broad range of factors from mental and
physical health to daily life stress, she and her colleagues conclude, which
could affect depression treatment.
SOURCE: General Hospital Psychiatry, March-April 2004.
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