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Clinical issues related to depression in schizophrenia: an international survey of psychiatrists

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Objective: Depressive symptoms in schizophrenia are associated with a substantial morbidity and mortality burden. The `International Survey of Depression in Schizophrenia' was designed to evaluate current awareness and clinical approaches in this area.

Method: A 48-item questionnaire was distributed to approximately 80 000 consultant psychiatrists world-wide. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Respondents demonstrated considerable awareness of the prevalence and consequences of depression in schizophrenia. Although there was widespread adjunctive use of antidepressants, one-third of respondents indicated that they rarely or never prescribe these agents in combination with antipsychotic medication. There were considerable variations in opinions about the best approach to the treatment of depressive symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Conclusion: The considerable clinical burden of depressive symptomatology in schizophrenia was acknowledged by the majority of respondents to this survey. There was, however, little agreement on the best management strategy.
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Keywords: antidepressive agents; antipsychotic agents; depression; electroconvulsive therapy; patient care management; schizophrenia

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2: CHU St Marguerite, Marseille, France, 3: The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 4: St Hans Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark, 5: Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, London, UK, 6: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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