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International Primary Care Association

Clinical Focus Volume 3 N2

Management of depression in primary care


Depression is a very common disorder, with a 5–10% prevalence in primary care settings.1 It has been estimated (by the World Health Organisation) that by the year 2020, depression will be the second most common cause of disability in the developed world, and the number one cause in the developing world.2 Women are approximately twice as likely as men to experience a depressive episode within a lifetime and the lifetime risk is 15% overall.3 Not only do depressive disorders have significant potential morbidity and mortality – the death rate may be as high as 15% - but they also contribute to increased mortality and morbidity when associated with other physical disorders.

With this is in mind, it is of some concern that up to half of the patients with a major depressive illness are not diagnosed and those who are diagnosed are often not adequately treated.4 Most depressive states are at the mild to moderate end of the spectrum and are managed mainly in primary care. In fact, 80% of people identified as having depression are managed entirely in a primary care setting.

Additional Info

  • Authors: N Emad & Y Vishnu Gopal
  • Keywords: Depression; Antidepressants Psychopharmacology
  • Login: Please login to view Full Text of the article
Read 5097 times Last modified on Monday, 26 November 2012 10:40

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