Maximizing Treatment Outcome in Depression: Strategies to Overcome Social Stigma and Noncompliance
Glen L. Stimmel
Despite a wealth of national treatment guidelines, algorithms, and clinical literature detailing the successful treatment of patients with depressive disorders, there remains a large gap between what is known to be ideal treatment of depression and the reality of current practice. Depression in primary care settings continues to be under-recognized, and when diagnosed, is often inadequately treated. A host of factors contribute to this concern, including both patient and clinician factors. The fundamental approach to narrowing this gap and improving treatment outcome in patients with depressive disorders is one of education. Public education initiatives have sought to lessen the stigma associated with depression and its treatment. Professional education efforts have been primarily directed toward improving diagnostic skills and increased use of screening tools. Individual patient education approaches focus on specific information such as onset of antidepressant effect, expected duration of therapy, identification and correction of patients' misconceptions about depression and antidepressants, and discussion of what to do if adverse effects occur. Such interventions can all contribute to a more successful treatment outcome for depressive disorders.
Antidepressants, Depression, Medical education, Patient compliance, Patient education, Pharmacoeconomics
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