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What do we know about long-term treatment outcomes for severe depressive disorders?

  • Rebecca Strawbridge (a1), Tanja Jaeckle (a2) and Anthony J. Cleare (a3)

Summary

In a recent issue of BJPsych Open, McPherson & Hengartner (see https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2019.65) reviewed 11 trials examining psychological and pharmacological treatment outcomes for chronic or treatment-resistant depression. They concluded that when assessed in the long term, antidepressants become less effective whereas psychological therapies become more effective. We argue that the evidence does not support this; indeed, most of the studies reviewed do not directly compare antidepressant with psychological therapy treatments and there is little consistency between them in terms of populations and interventions examined. The issue of long-term outcomes is key for optimising clinical guidelines and deserves more intensive research and scrutiny to improve patient response in routine practice.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Rebecca Strawbridge. Email: Becci.strawbridge@kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest: In the past 3 years, R.S. received an honorarium for speaking from Lundbeck and A.J.C. received honoraria for speaking from AstraZeneca and Lundbeck; honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Janssen, Livanova and Lundbeck; support for conference attendance from Janssen; and research grant support from Lundbeck. No other potential conflicts of interest to declare.

Footnotes

References

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What do we know about long-term treatment outcomes for severe depressive disorders?

  • Rebecca Strawbridge (a1), Tanja Jaeckle (a2) and Anthony J. Cleare (a3)

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What do we know about long-term treatment outcomes for severe depressive disorders?

  • Rebecca Strawbridge (a1), Tanja Jaeckle (a2) and Anthony J. Cleare (a3)
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