Discontinuation of antidepressant medication in primary care supported by monitoring plus mindfulness-based cognitive therapy versus monitoring alone: Design and protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial
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SourceBMC Family Practice, 20, (2019), article 105
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SW OZ BSI KLP
BMC Family Practice
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Background: Antidepressant use continues to rise, mainly explained by an increase in the proportion of patients receiving long term treatment. Although treatment guidelines recommend discontinuation after sustained remission, discontinuing antidepressants appears to be challenging for both patients and general practitioners (GPs). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective intervention that reduces the risk of relapse in recurrent depression and might facilitate discontinuation by teaching patients to cope with withdrawal symptoms and fear of relapse. The current study aims to investigate the effectiveness of the combination of Supported Protocolized Discontinuation (SPD) and MBCT in comparison with SPD alone in successful discontinuation of long-term use of antidepressants in primary care. Methods: This study involves a cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted in primary care patients with long-term use antidepressants with baseline and 6, 9 and 12 months follow-up assessments. Patients choosing to discontinue their medication will be offered a combination of SPD and MBCT or SPD alone. Our primary outcome will be full discontinuation of antidepressant medication (= 0 mg) within 6 months after baseline assessment. Secondary outcome measures will be the severity of withdrawal symptoms, symptoms of depression and anxiety, psychological well-being, quality of life and medical and societal costs. Discussion: In theory, stopping antidepressant medication seems straightforward. In practice however, patients and their GPs appear reluctant to initiate and accomplish this process. Both patients and professionals are in need of appropriate tools and information to better support the process of discontinuing antidepressant medication.
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