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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


MARTIN-AGUEDA, Belén et al. Current situation of depression healthcare in Spain: results of a psychiatrists' survey. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.4, pp.211-223. ISSN 0213-6163.

Objective: To analyze the current situation of healthcare for depression in Spain, according to psychiatrists opinion, and how it has evolved over the last 20 years, comparativily with the results reported in previous studies of our group. Methods: Throughout 2002, we recorded the opinions of 101 specialists in psychiatry after asking them to fill out structured questionnaires in which they rated care, clinical, therapeutic and care quality. Results: The presence of depressive disorders in healthcare is substantial, despite the high figures for "concealed epidemiology", with an increase in these last 20 years of disorders comorbid with anxiety. Currently, most patients arrive at the psychiatrist having been referred by their general practitioners (GP), as there is now less reluctance in depressive patients to such referral. In the last years there has been an increase in pharmacological treatment, with adverse effects of the drugs representing the major obstacle to non-adherence to such treatment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) constitute the pharmacological group of choice, and are the drugs most commonly used in the treatment of depression, together with venlafaxine. Areas where there is a need for improvement are time devoted to consultation, coordination between GPs and psychiatrists, waiting lists, and resources available to Mental Health Units. Conclusions: Current situation of depression healthcare in Spain has substantially changed in recent years, improving in some aspects, thanks, in part, to the attitudes of GPs with this disorder and to evolution of pharmacological treatment.

Keywords : Depressive disorders; Quality of care; Antidepressants; Treatment; Mental Health Services; Management; Psychiatry; Spain.

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