Study protocol for the antidepressant advisor (ADeSS): a decision support system for antidepressant treatment for depression in UK primary care: a feasibility study

BMJ Open. 2020 May 24;10(5):e035905. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035905.


Introduction: The Antidepressant Advisor Study is a feasibility trial of a computerised decision-support tool which uses an algorithm to provide antidepressant treatment guidance for general practitioners (GPs) in the UK primary care service. The tool is the first in the UK to implement national guidelines on antidepressant treatment guidance into a computerised decision-support tool.

Methods and analysis: The study is a parallel group, cluster-randomised controlled feasibility trial where participants are blind to treatment allocation. GPs were assigned to two treatment arms: (1) treatment-as-usual (TAU) and (2) computerised decision-support tool to assist with antidepressant choices. The study will assess recruitment and lost to follow-up rates, GP satisfaction with the tool and impact on health service use. A meaningful long-term roll-out unit cost will be calculated for the tool, and service use data will be collected at baseline and follow-up to inform a full economic evaluation of a future trial.

Ethics and dissemination: The study has received National Health Service ethical approval from the London-Camberwell St Giles Research Ethics Committee (ref: 17/LO/2074). The trial was pre-registered in the Clinical registry. The results of the study will be published in a pre-publication archive within 1 year of completion of the last follow-up assessment.

Trial registration number: NCT03628027.

Keywords: adult psychiatry; depression & mood disorders; primary care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Protocols / standards*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care*
  • State Medicine
  • United Kingdom


  • Antidepressive Agents

Associated data