Introduction: Major depressive disorder is a chronic and debilitating disease characterized by a wide range of emotional and physical symptoms that coexist during a depressive episode and may reoccur at some point during the progression of the disease for the majority of patients. The purpose of the study was to investigate psychiatrists’ experience regarding the response to antidepressive treatment and their options regarding augmentation strategies in depression with incomplete response to antidepressant monotherapy.
Method: We applied an 18-item questionnaire containing multiple choice questions to adult psychiatrists working in ambulatories, hospitals or mental health centers.
Results: Fourty-two psychiatrists have agreed to answer the questionnaire. The majority of them were psychiatry specialists, between 35 and 49 years of age, working in an outpatient unit. For the majority of doctors, SSRIs (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) proved to be the first line treatment both for the first depressive episode and for recurrent depression, followed by SNRI (Serotonin and Noradrenalin Reuptake Inhibitors). Regarding the duration of maintenance treatment for the patients who achieved complete remission after the first episode of depression, the results showed a wide spectrum from 4 to 9 months.
Conclusions: Incomplete response to antidepressive monotherapy is very frequent both for the first depressive episode and for recurrent depression. Given the pharmacological profile that some atypical antipsychotic have, augmentation with atypical antipsychotics in patients with inadequate response to antidepressant monotherapy is a useful therapeutic strategy that should be considered.