Antidepressant use in multiple sclerosis: epidemiologic study of a large community sample.

TitleAntidepressant use in multiple sclerosis: epidemiologic study of a large community sample.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsCetin K, Johnson KL, Ehde DM, Kuehn CM, Amtmann D, Kraft GH
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Date Published2007 Sep
Aged, Antidepressive Agents, Cross-Sectional Studies, Educational Status, Employment, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Insurance, Health, Male, Medicare, Middle Aged, Multiple Sclerosis, Societies, Medical, United States, Washington

Depressive symptoms and disorders among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more common when compared to other chronic illnesses and the general population, but relatively little is known about the use of antidepressant medication in this population. In this cross-sectional study of 542 community-dwelling adults with MS, we examined the prevalence of antidepressant use and employed multivariate logistic regression modeling to identify factors significantly associated with antidepressant use. Thirty-five percent of the sample reported currently using at least one antidepressant medication. Gender, marital status, insurance status, fatigue, and use of disease modifying therapies were all significantly associated with antidepressant use. Just over half of the sample endorsed a clinically significant level of depressive symptoms, and the majority of this group was not currently taking an antidepressant. Conversely, 41% of those with depressive symptoms reported taking at least one antidepressant medication. More research is needed to better understand why people with MS and depressive symptoms use or do not use antidepressant medications and to further explore the possibility of an under-treatment of depressive disorder in this population. Rigorous studies testing the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of currently available therapies for depression in the MS population should also be conducted.

PubMed ID17623732

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