The Impact Of Ethnicity On Antidepressant Therapy

 

Case # 29- The depressed man who thought he was out of options.

Depression has become a common mental disorder in our elderly population. This has caused a global concern for occur, geriatric patients, as depression often results in a significant burden for families as well as communities. Elderly people who suffer from depression may have an inferior baseline and record for medical assessments than those individuals without depression. Despite consistent evidence of the effectiveness of antidepressants for many with depression,3particularly those with more severe depression, remission rates are disappointingly low. An AHRQ-sponsored report found that only 46% of patients experienced remission from depression during 6 to 12 weeks of treatment with second-generation antidepressants. One major reason for this issue is non-adherence to medications and treatment plans. Studies have shown that patients’ age, race and ethnicity are consistently associated with predictions of outcomes. (Rossom et al., 2016).

This case study involves a 69-year old man whose chief complaint is unremitting, chronic depression. After several years of medications and treatments, he feels hopeless for a recovery from his chronic depression. This assignments seeks to explore his family and social support systems, diagnostic testing, differential diagnosis and pharmacologic treatment options for this patient.

Questions for the client

  1. How have you been sleeping lately?
  2. How many times in the last week have you had feelings of hopelessness?
  3. Are you having thoughts of harming yourself? Do you have a plan?

These questions are an important yet simple place to start when treating patients. Sleep disturbances plague much of the world’s population and have shown to be a major indicator for mental health issues. Changes in sleep neurophysiology are often observed in depressive patients, and impaired sleep is, in many cases, the chief complaint of depression (Armitage, 2007). Depressed patients with sleep disturbance are likely to present more severe symptoms and difficulties in treatment. In addition, persistent insomnia is the most common residual symptom in depressed patients and is considered a vital predictor of depression relapse and may contribute to unpleasant clinical outcomes (Hinkelmann et al., 20120. Questions involving feelings of hopelessness and suicidal ideations with or without a plan relate to issues of patient safety. Across psychiatric disorders, hopelessness is associated with suicidal ideation and behavior. A meta-analysis of 166 longitudinal studies (sample size not reported) found that hopelessness was associated with an increased risk of ideation (Ribeiro, Huang, Fox, & Franklin, 2018).

 
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