A new health professional learning program on depression launched by NPS MedicineWise focuses on quality use of medicines and the evidence for a range of non-pharmacological strategies.
Healthcare professionals are pivotal to the care of people with depression, with BEACH data reporting that depression is the most commonly managed psychological condition and second most commonly managed chronic condition in primary care, NPS says.
Against a backdrop of an increasing reliance on medicines—antidepressant dispensing has doubled in the past decade—there is emerging evidence for psychological treatment strategies and supportive approaches that can be delivered in primary care.
NPS MedicineWise Clinical Adviser, Dr Jeannie Yoo says, “Depression is a commonly managed condition in general practice for which there is an increasing range of therapeutic options available.
“Despite growing evidence to support the effectiveness of psychological, lifestyle and other supportive strategies, non-pharmacological options still tend to be underused in the treatment of depression.”
The NPS MedicineWise program for health professionals on managing depression highlights that:
- Psychological treatments are actually more effective than antidepressants in mild depression and equally effective in treatment of moderate depression.
- A range of non-pharmacological strategies (such as physical exercise and e-Mental health tools) can be used as part of a broader treatment plan.
- Supportive approaches including counselling, relaxation techniques, problem solving skills and stress management offer benefits within an integrated treatment approach, and
- Provides an update on the comparative features of antidepressants.
Dr Yoo says, “Sharing processes of decision making with your patients and building an integrated treatment approach enhances clinical outcomes for depression”.
The suite of resources and tools is underpinned by current guidelines, up-to-date evidence and clinical best practice