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NICE develops menu of options to treat depression in adults

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An independent committee at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed a menu of options to treat depression in adults.

The first guideline to identify, treat and manage depression has been created after looking at the evidence of treatment on various aspects of depression.

The guideline allows patients to select the best suited cure for them through a shared decision-making process between them and their healthcare practitioner.

Patients with less severe depression can choose a first-line treatment option from the menu, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), exercise, counselling or psychotherapy.

Similarly, those with a severe depression can select from a range of psychological interventions and antidepressant medication.

As per data released by the Office of National Statistics, around 17 per cent of people aged 16 years and over in Great Britain experienced some form of depression in summer 2021, higher than the previous year.

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the impact depression has had on the nation’s mental health. People with depression need these evidence-based guideline recommendations available to the NHS, without delay.”

Nav Kapur, professor of psychiatry and population health at the University of Manchester and chair of the guideline committee, said the guideline emphasizes on the role of patient choice.

He said that “practitioners should offer people a choice of evidence-based treatments and understanding that not every treatment will suit every person. We now need stakeholders’ help to make the recommendations as good as they can possibly be.”

The guideline also contains new recommendations for those stopping antidepressant medication.

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