Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 77, No. 2, Summer 2006 (
WHO RECEIVES ANTIDEPRESSANTS
AND WHAT IMPACT DO THEY HAVE?
AN ACUTE-CARE STUDY
Patricia M. Averill, Ph.D. and Adel A. Wassef, M.D.
Published online: 9 June 2006
The purpose of this study was to examine characteristics associated with pre-
scribing antidepressants in major depression and the utility of such antidepres-
sants in an acute-care, inpatient setting. Demographic and clinical (self-report
and clinician-rated scales) were obtained for 111 inpatients diagnosed with ma-
jor depression. Three comparison sets were made: (1) all patients prescribed
antidepressants versus those who were not; (2) those in the top quartile for
length of stay (LOS) versus those in the bottom quartile; and (3) patients dis-
charged in less than one week who were prescribed versus not prescribed,
antidepressants. Overall, minimal differences were found in the three compar-
ison sets. Those prescribed antidepressants had higher admission BDI scores,
longer LOS, more previous episodes, higher education levels, and were more
likely to be admitted voluntarily. At admission, there were no clear predictors of
LOS. Regardless of differences between groups at admission or discharge (an-
tidepressant versus no antidepressant, short versus long LOS), no differences
were found in the length of time before patients were readmitted.
Patricia M. Averill, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Be-
havioral Sciences, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston.
Adel A. Wassef, M.D., is Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Sciences, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston.
Address correspondence to Patricia M. Averill, Ph.D., University of Texas-Houston
HCPC, 2800 S. MacGregor Way, Houston, TX 77021; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.