Report

Randomised controlled trial to determine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors plus supportive care, versus supportive care alone, for mild to moderate depression with somatic symptoms in primary care. The THREAD (THREshold for AntiDepressant response) study

Authors: Kendrick T, Chatwin J, Dowrick C, Tylee A, Morriss R, Peveler R, Leese M, McCrone P, Harris T, Moore M, Byng R, Brown G, Barthel S, Mander H, Ring A, Kelly V, Wallace V, Gabbay M, Craig T, Mann A

Journal: Health Technology Assessment Volume: 13 Issue: 22

Publication date: April 2009

DOI: 10.3310/hta13220

Citation:

Kendrick T, Chatwin J, Dowrick C, Tylee A, Morriss R, Peveler R, et al.Randomised controlled trial to determine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors plus supportive care, versus supportive care alone, for mild to moderate depression with somatic symptoms in primary care. The THREAD (THREshold for AntiDepressant response) study. Health Technol Assess 2009;13(22)


Journal issues* can be purchased by completing the form.


The cost of reports varies according to number of pages and postage address. The minimum cost for a copy sent to a UK address is £30.00. We will contact you on receipt of your completed form to advise you of actual cost. If you have any queries, please contact nihredit@southampton.ac.uk.


*We regret that unfortunately we are unable to supply bound print copies of Health Technology Assessment published before issue 12:31. However, PDFs are available to print from the "Downloads" tab of the issue page.

Responses

No responses have been published. If you would like to submit a response to this publication, please do so using the form below.

Comments submitted to the NIHR Journals Library are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our readers to debate issues raised in research reports published in the Journals Library. We aim to post within 2 working days all responses that contribute substantially to the topic investigated, as determined by the Editors.

Your name and affiliations will be published with your comment.

Once published, you will not have the right to remove or edit your response. The Editors may add, remove, or edit comments at their absolute discretion.

Post your response

Surname

Forename

Middle Initial

Occupation / Job title

Affiliation / Employer

Email

Address

Other authors

For example, if you are responding as a team or group. Please ensure you include full names and separate these using commas

Statement of competing interests

We believe that readers should be aware of any competing interests (conflicts of interest).

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) define competing interests as including: financial relationships with industry (for example through employment, consultancies, stock, ownership, honoraria, and expert testimony), either directly or through immediate family; personal relationships; academic competition; and intellectual passion.

If yes, provide details below:

Enter response title

Enter response message

Enter CAPTCHA

Security key

Regenerate security key

By submitting your response, you are stating that you agree to the terms & conditions

  • Abstract

Abstract

Objectives

To determine (1) the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment plus supportive care, versus supportive care alone, for mild to moderate depression in patients with somatic symptoms in primary care; and (2) the impact of the initial severity of depression on effectiveness and relative costs. To investigate the impact of demographic and social variables.

Design

The study was a parallel group, open-label, pragmatic randomised controlled trial.

Setting

The study took place in a UK primary care setting. Patients were referred by 177 GPs from 115 practices around three academic centres.

Participants

Patients diagnosed with new episodes of depression and potentially in need of treatment. In total, 602 patients were referred to the study team, of whom 220 were randomised.

Interventions

GPs were asked to provide supportive care to all participants in follow-up consultations 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks after the baseline assessment, to prescribe an SSRI of their choice to patients in the SSRI plus supportive care arm and to continue treatment for at least 4 months after recovery. They could switch antidepressants during treatment if necessary. They were asked to refrain from prescribing an antidepressant to those in the supportive care alone arm during the first 12 weeks but could prescribe to these patients if treatment became necessary.

Main outcome measures

The primary outcome measure was Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score at 12-week follow-up. Secondary outcome measures were scores on HDRS at 26-week follow-up, Beck Depression Inventory, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36), Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (MISS), modified Client Service Receipt Inventory and medical record data.

Results

SSRIs were received by 87% of patients in the SSRI plus supportive care arm and 20% in the supportive care alone arm. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated statistically significant differences in favour of the SSRI plus supportive care arm in terms of lower HDRS scores and higher scores on the SF-36 and MISS. Significant mean differences in HDRS score adjusted for baseline were found at both follow-up points when analysed separately but were relatively small. The numbers needed to treat for remission (to HDRS > 8) were 6 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4 to 26)] at 12 weeks and 6 (95% CI 3 to 31) at 26 weeks, and for significant improvement (HDRS reduction > or = 50%) were 7 (95% CI 4 to 83) and 5 (95% CI 3 to 13) respectively. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and cost-effectiveness planes suggested that adding an SSRI to supportive care was probably cost-effective. The cost-effectiveness acceptability curve for utility suggested that adding an SSRI to supportive care was cost-effective at the values of 20,000 pounds-30,000 pounds per quality-adjusted life-year. A poorer outcome on the HDRS was significantly related to greater severity at baseline, a higher physical symptom score and being unemployed.

Conclusions

Treatment with an SSRI plus supportive care is more effective than supportive care alone for patients with mild to moderate depression, at least for those with symptoms persisting for 8 weeks and an HRDS score of > or = 12. The additional benefit is relatively small, and may be at least in part a placebo effect, but is probably cost-effective at the level used by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to make judgements about recommending treatments within the National Health Service. However, further research is required.

Publication updates

If you would like to receive information on publications and the latest news, click below to sign up.