Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Depressed And Staying That Way


From the LA Times Blog: "Depression Treatment Lacking For Many People"
The post refers to a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry and notes:

Treatment for major depression is abysmal, according to a study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In a national survey of 15,762 people, it found that only half of all people with depression received treatment. And among those who did receive treatment, only 21% were getting care that is consistent with American Psychiatric Assn. guidelines.

Researchers at UCLA and Wayne State University found that nearly 45% of individuals with depression received psychotherapy with no medication. Only 34% received antidepressants. African Americans and Mexican Americans were prescribed antidepressants a third less often than whites.

Oh, I'd like to read the full article in the hard copy, but my journals have so far not reached my new office.

The LA Times piece goes on to talk about how more psychiatrists are using antidepressants in combination with second generation antipsychotics, and is critical of this practice. Seems like an entirely separate issue to me:
In another study, also in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers found that a growing number of Americans are being prescribed combinations of antidepressants and antipsychotic medications even though there are few studies that support the benefits of such combinations.
The study examined prescribing data from 13,079 psychiatry office visits between 1996 and 2006. Researchers found a growing trend in the use of more than one psychotropic medication, such as combinations of antidepressants and sedatives, antidepressants and antipsychotics or two different antidepressants.

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On a separate note: Happy Birthday, Ross!