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November 24, 2021

Increasing the Impact of Prevention of Depression—New Opportunities

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Clinical, Neuro, and Developmental Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Psychiatry. 2022;79(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.3153

Depressive disorders are highly prevalent and are associated with a substantial loss of quality of life for patients and their relatives, with increased levels of morbidity and mortality and with enormous economic costs. Although effective pharmacologic and psychological treatments are available, the effects are modest, relapse rates are high, and many patients do not respond to treatments at all. Current treatments can reduce only an estimated one-third of the disease burden of depression at the population level and only under optimal conditions, assuming that all people with major depression receive an evidence-based treatment.1 Depressive disorders can therefore be seen as one of the major public health challenges of the coming decades.

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