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Differentiated information on antidepressants at hospital discharge: a hypothesis-generating study



Dr Franciska Desplenter, Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Onderwijs en Navorsing 2 -Herestraat 49 PO Box 521, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.




This hypothesis-generating study examined the clinical, humanistic and economic impact of providing differentiated medication information depending on the patient's information desire as compared with undifferentiated information to patients with a major depressive episode at hospital discharge.


A longitudinal multi-centre study with quasi-experimental design comprised two experimental groups ((un)differentiated antidepressant information) and one ‘no information’ group. Patients were followed up for 1 year assessing adherence, economic outcomes (i.e. costs of medicines, consultations, productivity loss and re-admissions), clinical outcomes (i.e. depressive, anxiety and somatic symptoms and side effects) and humanistic outcomes (i.e. quality of life, satisfaction with information). A linear model for repeated measures was applied to assess differences over time and between groups.

Key findings

Ninety-nine patients participated. Still participating 1 year later were 78. No beneficial effect was observed for adherence. Lower productivity loss (P = 0.021) and costs of consultations with healthcare professionals (P = 0.036) were observed in the differentiated group. About one-third of patients were re-admitted within 1 year following discharge. Patients in the ‘no information’ group had significantly more re-admissions than patients in the undifferentiated group (P = 0.031).


The hypothesis of differentiated information could be supported for economic outcomes only. Future medication therapy intervention studies should apply a more rigorous study design.

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