Psychological therapies versus antidepressant medication, alone and in combination for depression in children and adolescents

Suicide-related outcomes; we considered these as both a dichotomous and continuous outcome

Georgina R Cox; Patch Callahan; Rachel Churchill; Vivien Hunot; Sally N Merry; Alexandra G Parker; Sarah E Hetrick


Scholarcy highlights

  • Depressive disorders are common in children and adolescents and, if left untreated, are likely to recur in adulthood
  • Depressive disorders are common in children and adolescents, with suggested overall prevalence rates for adolescents being 5.7% and for children 2.8%
  • Depressive disorders in the younger years are likely to continue into adulthood, and can be increasingly difficult to treat as time goes on
  • There are many different types of antidepressant medication, all of which have been developed to work on chemicals in the brain that are believed to be linked to depression
  • Approximately 70% of adolescents with Major depressive disorder will relapse within five years, and adolescents who experience depression are four times more likely to develop a depressive disorder in adulthood compared to adolescents who do not suffer from depression
  • At post-intervention, significantly more participants receiving combination therapy were in remission compared with those who received medication alone Analysis 2.15
  • Psychosis, suicide attempts, lethality of suicide attempt, and impairment of functioning appear to increase with age, and it has been established that treatments are not uniformly effective across age groups
  • There is little evidence about the benefits and risks of various approaches to treating child and adolescent depression, with differences in type of participants and the treatment regimens in studies published to date

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