Depression: treatment compliance in general practice

Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 1981:290:447-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1981.tb00751.x.


A survey of over two hundred patients attending fourteen family doctors in five different practices investigates the treatment in general practice of patients suffering from depressive illness. Medication was the principal treatment offered, but was often inadequate either because of prescription variables or because patients failed to comply with the treatment prescribed. The reasons for patient non-compliance fell into three main categories (a) side effects, (b) attitudes to drugs, (c) patient--doctor communication failure. It is suggested that a more extensive discussion of mental illness and its treatment is required as part of the total treatment of the individual, that the family doctor should take a more active role in the supervision of the treatment regimen, and that drugs with fewer side effects, particularly anticholinergic effects, are all required as essential measures to improve patient compliance with treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attitude
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Physician-Patient Relations


  • Antidepressive Agents