Outcome measures of antidepressive therapy
A variety of outcome measures assessing antidepressive therapy are available. However, in randomized clinical trials, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM‐D) is often the primary outcome measure. Results from factor analysis and Rasch item analysis indicate that the HAM‐D is heterogeneous and that the sum of items scores may not be an adequate measure of the severity of depression. A Melancholia Scale of 11 items has been suggested as a more valid measure of the core symptoms of affective syndrome. Other global outcome measures, focusing on health‐related quality of life issues and on social functioning as well as macro‐economic analyses are also used in depression. Applying stringent and well‐documented outcome measures in randomized clinical trials of antidepressants may give the clinician a better indication of the most appropriate drug for treatment of the individual patient.
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