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Title: Antidepressant use in low- middle- And high-income countries: A World Mental Health Surveys report
Authors: Kazdin, Alan E.
Wu, Chi Shin
Hwang, Irving
Puac-Polanco, Victor
Sampson, Nancy A.
Al-Hamzawi, Ali
Alonso, Jordi
Andrade, Laura Helena
Benjet, Corina
Caldas-De-Almeida, José Miguel
De Girolamo, Giovanni
De Jonge, Peter
Florescu, Silvia
Gureje, Oye
Haro, Josep M.
Harris, Meredith G.
Karam, Elie G.
Karam, Georges
Kovess-Masfety, Viviane
Lee, Sing
McGrath, John J.
Navarro-Mateu, Fernando
Nishi, Daisuke
Oladeji, Bibilola D.
Posada-Villa, José
Stein, Dan J.
Üstün, T. Bedirhan
Vigo, Daniel V.
Zarkov, Zahari
Zaslavsky, Alan M.
Kessler, Ronald C.
Atwoli, Lukoye
Altwaijri, Yasmin
Borges, Guilherme
Bromet, Evelyn J.
Bunting, Brendan
Kiejna, Andrzej
Scott, Kate M.
Ten Have, Margreet
Affiliations: Faculty of Medicine 
Faculty of Medicine 
Keywords: Antidepressant medications
Perceived effectiveness
Reasons for use
Issue Date: 2023-09-23
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Part of: Psychological Medicine
Volume: 53
Issue: 4
Start page: 1583
End page: 1591
Background The most common treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is antidepressant medication (ADM). Results are reported on frequency of ADM use, reasons for use, and perceived effectiveness of use in general population surveys across 20 countries. Methods Face-to-face interviews with community samples totaling n = 49 919 respondents in the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys asked about ADM use anytime in the prior 12 months in conjunction with validated fully structured diagnostic interviews. Treatment questions were administered independently of diagnoses and asked of all respondents. Results 3.1% of respondents reported ADM use within the past 12 months. In high-income countries (HICs), depression (49.2%) and anxiety (36.4%) were the most common reasons for use. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), depression (38.4%) and sleep problems (31.9%) were the most common reasons for use. Prevalence of use was 2-4 times as high in HICs as LMICs across all examined diagnoses. Newer ADMs were proportionally used more often in HICs than LMICs. Across all conditions, ADMs were reported as very effective by 58.8% of users and somewhat effective by an additional 28.3% of users, with both proportions higher in LMICs than HICs. Neither ADM class nor reason for use was a significant predictor of perceived effectiveness. Conclusion ADMs are in widespread use and for a variety of conditions including but going beyond depression and anxiety. In a general population sample from multiple LMICs and HICs, ADMs were widely perceived to be either very or somewhat effective by the people who use them.
ISSN: 00332917
DOI: 10.1017/S0033291721003160
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine

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