Term: Antidepressant Prescription Follow-Up

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2020-05-19


The percent of residents (all ages) with a diagnosis of depression (ICD–9–CM codes 296 or 311) and a new (within 2 weeks of diagnosis) dispensation of antidepressants (ATC class N06A) who had at least three family physician or nurse practitioner visits within four months of the prescription being filled. For comparison, the crude percent was calculated for two five-year periods.

Regular monitoring of persons prescribed antidepressants after the initial diagnosis of depression is essential to track that patients' response to the medication and modify treatment if necessary. Often antidepressant medications do not begin to have a clinical effect for some time after initiating therapy. As well, persons diagnosed with a major depression may be at risk of suicide, which makes follow-up a critical part of treatment for depression.

Note: to be included in the analysis, patients had to be alive for the entire follow-up period. To be included as a newly depressed patient, residents could not have a prescription for antidepressants or a physician visit with a diagnosis of depression in the two years prior to the index event.

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