Boehringer Ingelheim shows 'neglect' in depression treatment

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A study sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim has shown that doctors may not be giving enough consideration to certain depression symptoms.

Symptoms such as pain and anxiety, which are considered important by patients, have been shown to often be neglected according to data presented at the 20th Annual Meeting of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Vienna.

The study was based on a post-hoc analysis of a multi-centre trial in Europe of patients with major depressive disorder and non-specific pain.

Results showed that physicians treating patients consider only physician-rated depressive symptoms when assessing the patient while the patient often considers the degree of pain and anxiety they are feeling when judging their own improvement.

Professor Koen Demyttenaere, of the department of psychiatry at University Hospital Gasthuisberg, said: "Previous evidence has suggested that treating both the emotional and the physical symptoms of depression provides patients with the best chance of reaching remission."

He added that these results underline the necessity of doctors to address a wider range of symptoms when treating patients suffering from major depressive disorder and associated pain.

In May 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim announced the results of research showing that the productivity declines associated with depression are more pronounced when joined by common difficulties including anxiety, sleeping problems and fatigue.

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