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Timing of psychoeducation for patients with depression who were treated with antidepressants: when should patients receive psychoeducation

Authors Tomita T, Kudo S, Sugawara N, Fujii A, Tsuruga K, Sato Y, Ishioka M, Nakamura K, Yasui-Furukori N

Received 11 November 2017

Accepted for publication 13 December 2017

Published 12 February 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 505—510


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Tetsu Tomita,1 Shuhei Kudo,2 Norio Sugawara,3 Akira Fujii,4 Koji Tsuruga,5 Yasushi Sato,1 Masamichi Ishioka,6 Kazuhiko Nakamura,1 Norio Yasui-Furukori1

1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, 2Department of Psychiatry, Tsugaru General Hospital, Goshogawara, 3Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Translational Medical Center, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, 4Department of Mental Health, Mutsu General Hospital, Mutsu, 5Department of Psychiatry, Aomori Prefectural Tsukushigaoka Hospital, Aomori, 6Department of Psychiatry, Minato Hospital, Hachinohe, Japan

Background: We analyzed data on the understanding of depression among patients who were prescribed antidepressants to determine when psychoeducation should be provided.
Patients and methods: A total of 424 outpatients were enrolled in this study. We used an original self-administered questionnaire consisting of eight categories: (A) depressive symptoms, (B) the course of depression, (C) causes of depression, (D) the treatment plan, (E) the duration of antidepressant use, (F) discontinuation of antidepressants, (G) the side effects of antidepressants, and (H) psychotherapy. Each category was assessed with the following two questions: “Have you received an explanation of this topic from the doctor in charge?” and “How much do you understand about your treatment?” The level of understanding of patients was rated on a scale from 0 to 10 (no understanding to full understanding; 11 anchor points). Symptoms were evaluated using the Quick Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology, Japanese version (QIDS-J) and other scales. Participants were divided into two groups: patients receiving psychoeducation at their first visit vs patients receiving psychoeducation after their first visit.
Results: Of the patients who had received an explanation of each psychoeducation item, a greater proportion were in the first visit group than in the after first visit group for nearly all items. Compared with the after first visit group, the first visit group showed a better understanding of each psychoeducation item and significantly lower QIDS scores for those receiving explanations of Items A and C. There was no significant difference between the two groups in remittance rates.
Conclusion: Psychoeducation on depression, especially regarding the symptoms and causes of depression, should be provided at patients’ first visit.

Keywords: depression, psychoeducation, timing, QIDS

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