Psychiatrist questions rise of antidepressant scripts

Associate Professor Ramin Mojtabai, from Johns Hopkins University, said in a recent commentary that only 18% of older adults with a clinician’s diagnosis of depression met the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode on the basis of a structured interview. Many primary care patients being prescribed antidepressants would benefit from counselling or lifestyle modification instead, he said.

A stepped care model such as advised in the UK facilitates a more nuanced approach to diagnosis and treatment, he said.

N Eng J Med 2014; 370:1180