The treatment of depression in primary care

NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Record ID 31995000033
Authors' objectives:

To assess which treatments are effective in the management of depression in primary care.

Authors' results and conclusions: Clinical:Antidepressants are generally effective in the treatment of major depression but a significant number of patients drop out of treatment and many will relapse. The SSRI's are of similar efficacy to other antidepressants - standardised mean difference of 0.004 (95% CI -0.096 - 0.015). SSRI's also have similar drop out rates to the cheaper antidepressants - Odds Ratio = 0.9 (95% CI 0.86-1.07). Cognitive therapy has been shown to be as effective as usual treatment in primary care.
Authors' recommendations: Effective strategies to improve the detection and appropriateness of treatment of depression in primary care are available. The increasing use of the SSRI's as the routine first-line treatment in major depression may result in large increases in the NHS drug budget for antidepressants and should be carefully monitored. Further research is required to evaluate a variety of management strategies for depression.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1993
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England
MeSH Terms
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Depression
  • Psychotherapy
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Suicide
Organisation Name: University of York
Contact Address: University of York, York, Y01 5DD, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1904 321040, Fax: +44 1904 321041,
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
Copyright: University of York
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.