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Sewitch, M., Blais, R., Rahme, E., Sophie, G., &Bexton, B. (2006). Pharmacologic Response to a Diagnosis of Late-LifeDepression: A Population Study in Quebec. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol51.

The article is an assessment of the diverse predictors of receiving psychoactive medication along with the recommended first-line pharmacotherapy in the individuals who have just been diagnosed with late-life depression. In the study, the researchers implemented a retrospective database cohort assessment of 5258 beneficiaries in the context of the Quebec provincial health insurance plan that was in place between 1999 and 2002. The study subjects were aged between 65 to 84 years and had been diagnosed with depression by their primary care physicians.

The descriptive statistics were employed in characterizing the study sample. In comparing the subjects via their sex, the researchers adopted t-tests as well as chi-square tests as was necessary. The psychoactive medication that was dispensed was compared via the diagnosis with chi-square and the fisher’s exact tests.  In the effort to account for the probable dependence among the different patients of the similar physician, the researchers adopted a generalized estimating equations approach for the two binary outcomes.

The outcomes of the study acknowledge that majority of the seniors who were newly diagnosed with depression received psychoactive medication although most of them did not receive the recommended first-line pharmacotherapy.  It was also evident that male sex was strongly correlated to receiving the recommended first-line pharmacotherapy and could increase the physician’s awareness that women were at an elevated risk of failing to receive the appropriate medication. It was additionally clear that benzodiazepines were dispensed to almost one-half of the treated patients which led to the concerns about the prescribing patterns as the medication could worsen the depression and in other cases lead to adverse events. The overall finding was that relational continuity was the chief predictor of receiving the recommended first-line pharmacotherapy, which posits that assertion that the patient-providers relationship in vital to the reception of the appropriate medication.

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