Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 9

Epidemiology and treatment of mood disorders in a day hospital setting from 1996 to 2007: an Italian study

Authors Luca M, Prossimo G, Messina V, Luca A, Romeo S, Calandra C

Received 16 October 2012

Accepted for publication 4 December 2012

Published 7 February 2013 Volume 2013:9 Pages 169—176


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Download Article [PDF] 

Maria Luca,1 Giuseppa Prossimo,1 Vincenzo Messina,1 Antonina Luca,2 Salvatore Romeo,1 Carmela Calandra1

Department of Medical and Surgery Specialties, Psychiatry Unit, 2Department of Neuroscience, University Hospital Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Sicily, Italy

Background: The present study aimed: to assess prescribing patterns in the treatment of major depression, bipolar disorder type I, cyclothymia, and dysthymia from 1996 to 2007 in a day hospital setting; to evaluate the prevalence of the above-mentioned mood disorders and gender distribution; and to relate familiality, comorbidity, and marital status to each diagnosis.
Methods: Medical records for 777 day hospital patients with a diagnosis of major depression, bipolar disorder type I, cyclothymia, or dysthymia were grouped into two 6-year periods so as to compare the prescribing patterns of tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants, first-generation antipsychotics, second-generation antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Gender, prevalence, familiality, comorbidity, and marital status were related to each diagnosis.
Results: The most common mood disorder, with a female preponderance, was major depression, regardless of marital status. High percentages of familiality and comorbidity were found for major depression, while a reduction was found in the utilization of tricyclic antidepressants. There was no statistically significant difference in rates of prescription of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitors, but some irregularities were found upon evaluating each diagnosis (eg, increased utilization of these agents in dysthymia and major depression, respectively). There was an increase in prescriptions for serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, but no marked differences in utilization of noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants, which remained basically low. There was no significant difference in prescribing of first-generation antipsychotic agents, although a reduction was found. There was a significant increase in utilization of second-generation antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.
Conclusion: Our epidemiological findings are consistent with data reported in the literature regarding the high prevalence of major depression among the mood disorders, as well as the impact of familiality and comorbidity. Analysis of prescribing patterns for antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers in the treatment of mood disorders shows a shift from older to newer drugs, and wider use of mood stabilizers.

Keywords: antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, prescribing patterns, mood disorders, treatment

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]