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Journal Article

Prevalence, recognition and management of depression in primary care in Germany: the Depression 2000 study

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Wittchen,  HU
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

Pittrow,  D
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Wittchen, H., & Pittrow, D. (2002). Prevalence, recognition and management of depression in primary care in Germany: the Depression 2000 study. Human Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental, 17(Suppl. 1), S1-S11.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-A1D5-F
Abstract
''''Depression 2000'' is a major epidemiological study conducted in a representative sample of 412 primary care settings (which examined a total of 15081 unselected patients) in Germany in order to address the current lack of information on the prevalence, recognition and treatment of depression in primary care. The study revealed that depression is a key challenge in primary care because of its prevalence (point prevalence according to ICD-10: 10.9%), type of presenting complaints and the time constraints of the doctors. Participating doctors had a very high workload (average of 62 patients per day) and perceived the management of depressed patients as a major burden. The majority of cases of depression identified met criteria for moderate or severe depression, and 51% had a chronic and/or recurrent course. A total of 55% of patients were correctly diagnosed as having a clinically significant depressive disorder, although only 21% received a diagnosis of ''''definite'' depression. In conclusion, these findings confirm the high prevalence of depressive disorders in primary care settings and underline the particular challenges posed by these patients. Although recognition rates among more severe major depressive patients, as well as treatments prescribed, appear to be more favourable than in previous studies, the high proportion of unrecognised patients with definite depression still raises significant concerns. It remains of continued prime importance to educate primary care doctors to better recognise depression in order to increase the patients'' chances of receiving appropriate treatment. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Lt