Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Groundbreaking Depression Research Being Tested In Real-world Setting

Date:
June 16, 2008
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Psychiatry researchers have taken what they learned from groundbreaking research on treating depression and are applying it to real-world clinical settings. The study, STAR*D, provided evidence for step-by-step guidelines to address treatment-resistant depression and found that half of depressed patients became symptom-free or had major improvement after the first two treatments with medication.

UT Southwestern Medical Center psychiatry researchers have taken what they learned from their groundbreaking research on treating depression and are applying it to real-world clinical settings.

The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study was the largest ever on the treatment of major depressive disorder and is considered a benchmark in the field of depression research. The six-year, $33 million study initially included more than 4,000 patients from clinics across the country.

STAR*D provided evidence for step-by-step guidelines to address treatment-resistant depression and found that half of depressed patients became symptom-free or had major improvement after the first two treatments with medication.

Based on those findings, Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and a leader of the STAR*D study, developed a computerized treatment system and is now testing it in a Nashville, Tenn.-based mental and behavioral health care organization.

"This is exciting because although this project incorporates elements of STAR*D and cutting-edge algorithms developed and refined by UT Southwestern researchers over decades, it moves way beyond that," said Dr. Trivedi.

The computer software provides a step-by-step guide to assist doctors as they're treating patients. For example, the program prompts physicians with more specific questions that go beyond "Do you feel better?" after taking medication.

"This computerized system gives doctors assistance at the time that they are seeing the patient," Dr. Trivedi said. "It's like walking with someone learning to ride a bike versus just sitting there and telling them how to ride."

The administration of depression treatment is often inadequate, Dr. Trivedi said.

"Major depressive disorder treatment lags behind the care of other chronic diseases," said Dr. Trivedi. "It's not like an infection where you treat for a short time and that's it."

Doctors often don't ask follow-up questions of their patients, and they certainly do not routinely use systematic measurement tools to gauge progress, he said.

"My interest is in helping clinicians, researchers and patients in real-practice settings," Dr. Trivedi said. "It's a different magnitude of complexity when you go to a busy clinical practice setting away from academic centers."

In the STAR*D project, also led by Dr. A. John Rush, professor of clinical sciences and psychiatry at UT Southwestern, only about 50 depression patients from each test-site clinic were selected to participate.

"Studying depression in a very small setting with an isolated patient population was important as we sought to answer certain essential questions, but it is different from the regular practice of doctors and patients," Dr. Trivedi said.

In the current research project, all patients with depression at study sites will be included. The number of patients could reach 8,000, depending on how many are scheduled for treatment with Centerstone, a nonprofit provider of community-based behavioral health services that has partnered with Dr. Trivedi. Centerstone operates facilities in middle Tennessee and southern Indiana.

"Previous research has pulled out a few drops of water from a pond, whereas now we are looking at the whole pond and all its possible murkiness," Dr. Trivedi said. Centerstone facilities were chosen in part because of their cohesiveness and technological capabilities.

"We know depression is similar to other chronic illnesses and yet treatable. We know we have a lot of options," Dr. Trivedi said. "While we are still developing other treatment alternatives, it's important to make sure that the research we have now works in the real world. This work with Centerstone will help ensure that depressed patients receive the most effective treatment regime available."

The work is funded by a $1.2 million grant over three years awarded by the Agency for Health Care Research Quality for an information technology initiative.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Groundbreaking Depression Research Being Tested In Real-world Setting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612070402.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2008, June 16). Groundbreaking Depression Research Being Tested In Real-world Setting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612070402.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Groundbreaking Depression Research Being Tested In Real-world Setting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612070402.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins