Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) 2016 Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Adults with Major Depressive Disorder: Section 6. Special Populations: Youth, Women, and the Elderly

Can J Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;61(9):588-603. doi: 10.1177/0706743716659276. Epub 2016 Aug 2.


Background: The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) conducted a revision of the 2009 guidelines by updating the evidence and recommendations. The scope of the 2016 guidelines remains the management of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults, with a target audience of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.

Methods: Using the question-answer format, we conducted a systematic literature search focusing on systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Evidence was graded using CANMAT-defined criteria for level of evidence. Recommendations for lines of treatment were based on the quality of evidence and clinical expert consensus. This section on "Special Populations" is the sixth of six guidelines articles.

Results: Recent studies inform the treatment of MDD in children and adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women, women in perimenopause or menopause, and the elderly. Evidence for efficacy of treatments in these populations is more limited than for the general adult population, however, and risks of treatment in these groups are often poorly studied and reported.

Conclusions: Despite the limited evidence base, extant data and clinical experience suggest that each of these special populations can benefit from the systematic application of treatment guidelines for treatment of MDD.

Keywords: child and adolescent psychiatry; clinical practice guidelines; evidence-based medicine; geriatric psychiatry; major depressive disorder; maternal health; meta-analysis; perinatal; postpartum; systematic reviews.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent Psychiatry / methods
  • Adolescent Psychiatry / standards*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child Psychiatry / methods
  • Child Psychiatry / standards*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Psychiatry / methods
  • Geriatric Psychiatry / standards*
  • Humans
  • Perimenopause*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*