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REDUCE (Reviewing long-term antidepressant use by careful monitoring in everyday practice) internet and telephone support to people coming off long-term antidepressants: protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Kendrick, T., Geraghty, A.W.A., Bowers, H.M., Stuart, B., Leydon, G., May, C., Yao, G., O'Brien, W., Glowacka, M., Holley, S., Williams, S., Zhu, S., Dewar-Haggart, R., Palmer, B., Bell, M., Collinson, S., Fry, I., Lewis, G., Griffiths, G., Gilbody, S., Moncrieff, J., Moore, M., Macleod, U., Little, P. and Dowrick, C., 2020. REDUCE (Reviewing long-term antidepressant use by careful monitoring in everyday practice) internet and telephone support to people coming off long-term antidepressants: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 21 (1), 419.

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s13063-020-04338-7.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1186/s13063-020-04338-7


BACKGROUND: Around one in ten adults take antidepressants for depression in England, and their long-term use is increasing. Some need them to prevent relapse, but 30-50% could possibly stop them without relapsing and avoid adverse effects and complications of long-term use. However, stopping is not always easy due to withdrawal symptoms and a fear of relapse of depression. When general practitioners review patients on long-term antidepressants and recommend to those who are suitable to stop the medication, only 6-8% are able to stop. The Reviewing long-term antidepressant use by careful monitoring in everyday practice (REDUCE) research programme aims to identify safe and cost-effective ways of helping patients taking long-term antidepressants taper off treatment when appropriate. METHODS: Design: REDUCE is a two-arm, 1:1 parallel group randomised controlled trial, with randomisation clustered by participating family practices. SETTING: England and north Wales. POPULATION: patients taking antidepressants for longer than 1 year for a first episode of depression or longer than 2 years for repeated episodes of depression who are no longer depressed and want to try to taper off their antidepressant use. INTERVENTION: provision of 'ADvisor' internet programmes to general practitioners or nurse practitioners and to patients designed to support antidepressant withdrawal, plus three patient telephone calls from a psychological wellbeing practitioner. The control arm receives usual care. Blinding of patients, practitioners and researchers is not possible in an open pragmatic trial, but statistical and health economic data analysts will remain blind to allocation. OUTCOME MEASURES: the primary outcome is self-reported nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire at 6 months for depressive symptoms. SECONDARY OUTCOMES: depressive symptoms at other follow-up time points, anxiety, discontinuation of antidepressants, social functioning, wellbeing, enablement, quality of life, satisfaction, and use of health services for costs. SAMPLE SIZE: 402 patients (201 intervention and 201 controls) from 134 general practices recruited over 15-18 months, and followed-up at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. A qualitative process evaluation will be conducted through interviews with 15-20 patients and 15-20 practitioners in each arm to explore why the interventions were effective or not, depending on the results. DISCUSSION: Helping patients reduce and stop antidepressants is often challenging for practitioners and time-consuming for very busy primary care practices. If REDUCE provides evidence showing that access to internet and telephone support enables more patients to stop treatment without increasing depression we will try to implement the intervention throughout the National Health Service, publishing practical guidance for professionals and advice for patients to follow, publicised through patient support groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN:12417565. Registered on 7 October 2019.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Antidepressants ; Deprescribing ; Depression ; Digital intervention ; Discontinuation ; Primary care ; Withdrawal
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:34078
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:02 Jun 2020 15:29
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:22


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