Individuals more likely to be prescribed Effexor following interactive computer program usage



It's not uncommon for depressed individuals to go on with their daily routines unaware that they could benefit from antidepressants such as Effexor.

It's not uncommon for depressed individuals to go on with their daily routines unaware that they could benefit from antidepressants such as Effexor. Researchers from University of California, Davis, recently found that using an interactive computer program about depression helped those suffering from the mental disorder to obtain the necessary treatment.

"We have developed an easy-to-use tool to help people with depression identify the symptoms, feel more comfortable discussing it with a primary-care provider and accept treatment if it is needed," Anthony Jerant, senior author of the study, told Science Daily. "This brief and relatively inexpensive intervention could be easily and widely implemented in a variety of health care settings."

Using a randomized trial, researchers compared the effects of the computer program, a depression engagement video and a control group to see how initial depression care improved - without increasing the number of unnecessary diagnoses. A total of 925 adults were treated by primary care clinicians from June 2010 through March 2012 throughout the state of California.

The interactive game was seen to have the greatest benefits to patients, as clinician recommendations for antidepressants increased due to more inquiry regarding depression. Patients used the program while waiting to see their doctors. The program provided information regarding depressive symptoms on different levels and treatment options. This was possible by asking a participant questions about signs of depression and then indicating whether or not a diagnosis was likely. Additionally, based on individual needs and interests, the program offered guidance on treatment.

"We were concerned that the interventions could lead to treatment for depression for those who do not actually have it," Richard Kravitz, lead author of the study, explained to the source. "Our interactive computer program, however, increased help for those who needed it the most without increasing treatment for those who didn't."

Individuals who feel they may be depressed should consult a health care professional regarding their symptoms. Effexor can often help to ease the effects of this mental disorder.