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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 8 Issue1

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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 100+ titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 45 countries.

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Longer-Term Use of Antidepressants Reduces Relapse Rate By John Griffiths LONDON (Reuters Health) Feb 20 - The use of antidepressants for 1 year or more, in addition to a 4- to 6-month standard treatment, significantly reduces the relapse rate in people with depressive disorders, according to a report in the February 22nd issue of The Lancet. Dr. John R. Geddes, from Oxford University in the UK, and colleagues in Japan and the US conducted a systematic review of 31 randomised trials involving more than 4400 patients with acute depressive disorders, who had responded to treatment with antidepressants. The participants were then assigned to continue treatment or to placebo. According to the report, further antidepressant treatment for 1 to 2 years reduced the odds of relapse by about 66%. The average relapse rate was 18% for patients who continued treatment compared with 40% for the placebo patients. "Few other interventions in psychiatry are supported by such robust findings," co-author Professor Guy M. Goodwin told Reuters Health. "Many patients remain at appreciable risk of recurrence after 4 to 6 months of treatment. Another 2 years of antidepressant therapy will approximately half their risk of experiencing another episode." "The positive effects of antidepressants do not wear off over time," he added. "Many patients who do exceptionally well may elect to take these medicines indefinitely, rather than increase the risk of further illness by stopping their treatments. The major fear for patients is of relapsing," Professor Goodwin said. "We hope that our findings will offer them some reassurance." The trials that were analysed were mainly conducted in a secondary care setting. The authors suggest that further long-term trials are needed in other patients with milder illness, who may have a lower underlying risk of relapse. "Effective treatments are likely to be economic," Professor Goodwin added. He also pointed out that most of the costs of psychiatric disorders are indirect, such as loss of income due to time off work, and that the generic production of most antidepressants means their cost is less of an economic burden. Professor Goodwin said funding for the study came from the UK-based Wellcome Trust biomedical charity, and was independent of the pharmaceutical industry. His team is now attempting to determine why patients choose not to take medications for extended periods. "There is almost certainly a folk belief that long-term use of medication can cause harm or lead to addiction.

We need to match the evidence with people's beliefs," he added. Dr. Deenesh Khoosal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said the paper was "an important contribution to the on-going debate on antidepressants." He also supports the need for further research. Lancet 2003:361;653-661.


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