Clinical preference for factors in treatment of geriatric depression
Matthias W Riepe
Mental Health and Geriatric Psychiatry, Psychiatry II, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany
Abstract: Little is known about symptom preferences of clinical psychiatrists in the treatment of geriatric depression and preferences for avoiding adverse drug effects. Participants (board-certified psychiatrists) were recruited prior to a lecture on geriatric depression during a continuing education program. An analytic hierarchy process was performed and participants were asked for pairwise comparison of criteria guiding them in appraising therapeutic efficacy, and in avoiding toxicity and adverse events. Of the 61 participants from the continuing education program, 42 (69%) returned their data sheet. Avoidance of cardiotoxicity was regarded as more important than avoidance of hepatotoxicity or hematotoxicity. Concerning adverse events, highest preference was given to avoidance of falls and drug interactions, followed by avoidance of sedation, weight change, and impairment of sexual function. The most important preferences for appraisal of therapeutic efficacy were suicidality over ability to concentrate and sleep. Clinical psychiatrists have a hierarchy of preferences for treatment goals and avoidance of adverse events and toxicity. This raises the question for future research whether these preferences cause differences in prescription patterns in clinical practice even though a multitude of antidepressants are similarly effective when judged with instruments used in clinical trials.
Keywords: depressive disorder, symptoms, analytic hierarchy process, toxicity, adverse events, symptoms
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