Adherence to antidepressant therapy for major depressive patients in a psychiatric hospital in Thailand

Prukkanone, Benjamas; Vos, Theo; Burgess, Philip; Chaiyakunapruk, Nathorn; Bertram, Melanie
January 2010
BMC Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 10, p64
Academic Journal
Background: Poor adherence to antidepressant therapy is an important barrier to the effective management of major depressive disorder. This study aims to quantify the adherence rate to antidepressant treatment and to determine the pattern of prescriptions of depressed patients in a psychiatric institute in Thailand. Methods: This retrospective study used electronic pharmacy data of outpatients aged 15 or older, with a new diagnosis of major depression who received at least one prescription of antidepressants between August 2005 and September 2008. The medication possession ratio (MPR) was used to measure adherence over a 6 month period. Results: 1,058 were eligible for study inclusion. The overall adherence (MPR > 80%) in those attending this facility at least twice was 41% but if we assume that all patients who attended only once were non-adherent, adherence may be as low as 23%. Fluoxetine was the most commonly prescribed drug followed by TCAs. A large proportion of cases received more than one drug during one visit or was switched from one drug to another (39%). Conclusions: Adherence to antidepressant therapy for treatment of major depression in Thailand is rather low compared to results of adherence from elsewhere.


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