Clinicians' Views on Treatment-Resistant Depression: 2016 Survey Reports

Katarina Arandjelovic, Harris A. Eyre, Helen Lavretsky

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background There is a relative paucity of information on both empirical and subjective treatment strategies for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), especially in late life. This paper reviews the findings from two 2016 surveys conducted through the American Psychiatric Association publication the Psychiatric Times and via a member survey by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP). Methods We present the results of the two surveys in terms of descriptive frequencies and percentages and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to late-life TRD. Results The Psychiatric Times survey received 468 responses, and the AAGP survey received 117 responses, giving an overall sample of 585 responses. The majority (76.3%) of respondents from both groups believed that a large randomized study comparing the risks and benefits of augmentation and switching strategies for TRD in patients aged 60 years and older would be helpful, and 80% of clinicians believed their practice would benefit from the findings of such a study. Of the treatment strategies that need evidence of efficacy, the most popular options were augmentation/combination strategies, particularly augmentation with aripiprazole (58.7%), bupropion (55.0%), and lithium (50.9%). Conclusions Late-life TRD constitutes a large proportion of clinical practices, particularly of geriatric psychiatry, with lacking evidence of efficacy of most treatment strategies. These surveys indicate a clear need for a large randomized study that compares risks and benefits of augmentation and switching strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-917
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • depression
  • late-life
  • survey
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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