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Clinical characteristics associated with the prescribing of SSRI medication in adolescents with major unipolar depression

Cousins, L; Whitaker, KJ; Widmer, B; Midgley, N; Byford, S; Dubicka, B; Kelvin, R; ... Goodyer, I; + view all (2016) Clinical characteristics associated with the prescribing of SSRI medication in adolescents with major unipolar depression. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , 25 (12) pp. 1287-1295. 10.1007/s00787-016-0849-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: Unipolar major depressions (MD) emerge markedly during adolescence. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) UK recommends psychological therapies, with accompanying selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prescribed in severe cases only. Here we seek to determine the extent and rationale of SSRI prescribing in adolescent MD before entering a randomised clinical trial. Method: SSRI prescribing, together with their clinical characteristics was determined in 465 adolescent patients with MD prior to receiving a standardised psychological therapy as part of the Improving mood with psychoanalytic and cognitive therapies (IMPACT) clinical trial. Results: Overall 88 (19%) had been prescribed antidepressants prior to psychological treatment. The clinical correlates varied by gender: respectively depression severity in boys and self-harming behaviours in girls. Prescribing also differed between clinical research centres. Conclusions: Medical practitioners consider severity of depression in boys as an indicator for antidepressant prescribing. Self-injury in girls appears to be utilised as a prescribing aid which is inconsistent with past and current revised UK NICE guidelines.

Type: Article
Title: Clinical characteristics associated with the prescribing of SSRI medication in adolescents with major unipolar depression
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00787-016-0849-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-016-0849-y
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Adolescents, Depression, Antidepressants, SSRIs, Risk, Self-harm
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485886
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