Results from a new survey suggest that significant gaps exist in the treatment for adults in the U.S. with major depressive disorder (MDD).

Sixty-one percent of adult survey respondents with major depressive disorder (MDD) – who reported taking their medication as prescribed – say they still deal with MDD symptoms at least weekly. The ways in which MDD has affected these patients are multiple. On average, the patients reported taking 1.8 sick days from work or school in the past month, 6.3 days in which they were not able to complete a daily living task (eg, cooking, cleaning, paying bills), and 2.4 days where they have missed a social event due to their MDD.

The “Living with MDD” survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Otsuka America and Lundbeck. Participants included 300 adults who had been diagnosed with MDD by healthcare professionals and had taken an antidepressant within the past year, as well as 150 psychiatrists and 152 primary care providers. Of the adults with MDD who took medication, 90% responded they took their medication exactly as prescribed.

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The survey also showed 73% of psychiatrists and 54% of primary care providers felt there were not enough medication options that are effective enough to relieve their patients’ symptoms; 40% of surveyed adults agreed with this statement.

Forty-two percent of patients who reported satisfaction with their treatment said they still experienced symptoms at least once a week, and 26% reported experiencing symptoms several times a week or more. Results would also indicate that many health care professionals struggle to find the right treatment for specific patients, with 70% of psychiatrists and 54% of primary care providers reporting that they change their patients’ medications at least once a year.

Findings from the survey imply there may be a need for alternative treatment options that better address MDD symptoms.

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