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Depression & Anxiety

2004 Edition

New Research:
Rate of Depression Treatment Improved, But Still Inadequate

While more Americans with depression are receiving treatment than in previous years, the treatment they receive is often inadequate, according to a recent study.

Face-to-face interviews with more than 9,000 adults revealed that 57% of those who experienced major depression in the past year received some treatment for their condition, a significant increase since the early 1980s. However, less than half of them (about 22% of all the participants with depression) received an appropriate course of treatment, defined as either: 1) use of medication for depression for at least 30 days and four visits to a physician regarding their medication use, or 2) at least eight 30-minute sessions for psychotherapy.

Nearly 7% of the participants (equivalent to 13 to 14 million Americans) had experienced major depression in the past year, and 16% (33 to 35 million) had experienced major depression at some point in their life. About 72% of people with depression had another disorder, such as anxiety, substance abuse, or impulse control disorder. On average, major depression lasted 16 weeks, and people were unable to work or engage in normal activities for an average of 35 days a year because of their depression.

Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume 289, page 3095
June 18, 2003


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Depression & Anxiety

The Depression and Anxiety White Paper from The Johns Hopkins White Papers series is an annual, in-depth report written by Hopkins physicians.



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