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Antidepressants and cognitive behavioural therapy interventions for major depressive disorder beyond the acute management phase

According to the Swiss Health Survey conducted in 2017, 8.6% of the population surveyed had symptoms of moderate to severe depression, which is comparable to the rest of Europe. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most commonly diagnosed depressive disorder. It is characterized by a history of at least one major depressive episode that lasted at least two weeks.

Numerous treatment strategies for MDD are available. These include psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]) and/or pharmacotherapy with the aim of achieving symptoms remission and restoring a normal level of psychosocial functioning as needed for a satisfactory personal and working life and social participation.

In this HTA report, the Swiss Medical Board investigated the efficacy, safety, benefit-risk ratio and health economic impact of the two treatment options. Based on the available data, the Swiss Medical Board concludes that for the treatment of major depressive disorder after the acute phase, antidepressants are recommended and a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy is recommended under certain conditions.