How to improve adherence to antidepressant treatments in patients with major depression: A psychoeducational consensus checklist

Bernardo Dell'Osso, Umberto Albert, Giuseppe Carrà, Maurizio Pompili, Maria Giulia Nanni, Massimo Pasquini, Nicola Poloni, Andrea Raballo, Fabio Sambataro, Gianluca Serafini, Caterina Viganò, Koen Demyttenaere, Roger S. McIntyre, Andrea Fiorillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Studies conducted in primary care as well as in psychiatric settings show that more than half of patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) have poor adherence to antidepressants. Patients prematurely discontinue antidepressant therapy for various reasons, including patient-related (e.g., misperceptions about antidepressants, side-effects, and lack of tolerability), clinician-related (e.g., insufficient instruction received by clinicians about the medication, lack of shared decision-making, and follow-up care), as well as structural factors (e.g., access, cost, and stigma). The high rate of poor adherence to antidepressant treatments provides the impetus for identifying factors that are contributing to noncompliance in an individual patient, to implement a careful education about this phenomenon. As adherence to antidepressants is one of the major unmet needs in MDD treatment, being associated with negative outcomes, we sought to identify a series of priorities to be discussed with persons with MDD with the larger aim to improve treatment adherence. To do so, we analyzed a series of epidemiological findings and clinical reasons for this phenomenon, and then proceeded to define through a multi-step consensus a set of recommendations to be provided by psychiatrists and other practitioners at the time of the first (prescription) visit with patients. Herein, we report the results of this initiative.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 12 2020


  • Adherence
  • Antidepressants
  • Concordance
  • Consensus
  • Major depressive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'How to improve adherence to antidepressant treatments in patients with major depression: A psychoeducational consensus checklist'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this