Huang MY, Counts N, Smith A, Brister T, Sweeney C, McSorley D, Suthoff E, Parikh S. Perspectives on the unmet need in the treatment of major depressive disorder: results from a patient survey. Poster presented at the Psych Congress 2022; September 17, 2022. New Orleans, LA.

BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common brain health disorder that affects at least 1 in 5 individuals in the United States (US) during their lifetime. Adults with MDD were surveyed to rate the importance of desirable attributes associated with a new therapy for MDD.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey of adults in the US who self-reported a diagnosis of MDD. Participants were recruited by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance or patient panel. Participants reported previous or current treatment with ≥ 1 antidepressant (ADT) for ≥ 2 weeks. Data were collected between May and November 2021.

RESULTS: Of the 715 people who completed the survey, most were female (78%), white (86%), and employed (53%). Most participants (82%) were taking an ADT for ≥ 6 months. Participants rated the following attributes of a new medication for MDD as “very important” or “extremely important”: (1) prevents depression from coming back, 92%; (2) has fewer side effects, 90%; (3) has a body of research that shows it to be safe and effective, 90%; (4) can be discontinued without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, 83%; (5) works quickly to improve most depression symptoms, 68%; and (6) can be prescribed again for a 2-week period if depressive symptoms come back, 57%.

CONCLUSION: Results suggest a safe and effective treatment that prevents the recurrence of depression, acts quickly, has fewer side effects and no risk of withdrawal symptoms, and has a flexible regimen for repeat treatment, is preferred.

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