More clarity needed on depression

GPs are not well served by the current one-size-fits-all general depression guideline developed for primary care, which fails to take account of the broad spectrum of presentations, a researcher says.

Professor Jane Gunn, head of the department of general practice at the University of Melbourne, said her primary care research suggested more nuanced options were needed because some challenging patients were failing to respond to drug therapy and others were missing out on its benefits.

Data from the longitudinal Diagnosis, Management and Outcomes of Depression in Primary Care (DIAMOND) study of around 800 patients in 30 Victorian general practices showed that the ‘stepped care’ approach might not be the best model for people with persistent depression, she said.

“What really happens in the treatment for depression more or less is pretty much the same for everybody,” she said.

“There’s not a great deal of