'Curing' depression?

November 21, 2005

Determining when treatment of a depressed patient can safely be discontinued is important but difficult for clinicians; until now, no tests have been available that are simple to administer in a doctor's office. Roger McIntyre and colleagues developed a brief 7-item questionnaire to determine if a patient with depression has recovered, and have now evaluated it for use in primary care.

In a randomized controlled trial involving 454 patients with major depressive disorder across 47 medical practices in 4 provinces, outcomes of antidepressant therapy were determined with the brief HAMD-7 questionnaire or the standard longer questionnaire (the HAMD-17) that is used in research and specialty settings. Results from the 2 study instruments showed good agreement, which suggests that the shorter version is accurate and could be used in clinical practice by physicians.
-end-
A copy of the HAMD-7 is provided as an appendix to the article, and is available to journalists.

p. 1327 Measuring the severity of depression and remission in primary care: validation of the HAMD-7 scale -- R.S. McIntyre et al

http://www.cmaj.ca/misc/press/pg1327.pdf

Canadian Medical Association Journal

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