Friday, May 27, 2011
SCI Model Systems Research: Patients get little help for depression after spinal cord injury.
Depression is a harmful and sometimes deadly condition that affects about one in five people with spinal cord injury (SCI). Researchers at four sites in the SCI Model System (Seattle, Chicago, Ann Arbor and Birmingham, AL) found that only 29% of depressed patients were taking antidepressants and 11% had received counseling within the past three months. Far fewer had received an adequate dose of either antidepressants or counseling. The authors identified several factors that may contribute to under-treatment of depression, including poor access to medical care, embarrassment about admitting to or talking about being depressed, and limited depression screening. The study highlights the need to understand and overcome barriers to the identification and treatment of depression in this population. (Fann JR, Bombardier CH, Richards JS, et al. Depression After Spinal Cord Injury: Comorbidities, Mental Health Service Use, and Adequacy of Treatment. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2011;92(3):352-360.)