Major depression is a pervasive and debilitating mental disorder that affects families and individuals throughout their lives. The prevalence of major depression is 2.9% in Western societies with 12.6% of people suffering from minor depression. Antidepressants can be highly effective but it is important that patients keep taking them for four-to-six months with those people most at risk taking them for at least a year. However, patients with major depression do not always stick to their medication regimes which can drastically reduce the effectiveness of the drugs. A Taiwanese study of 181 patients looked at their compliance with their medication. About 50% of the patients reported good medication adherence. The predictors of adherence to medication were a higher income (even though patients do not pay for these drugs in Taiwan), a feeling that the antidepressants were effective and an understanding of the importance of continuing to take the drugs.
Yeh, Mei-Yu ... [et al] - Predictors of adherence to an antidepressant medication regimen among patients diagnosed with depression in Taiwan Issues in Mental Health Nursing 29(7), 701-717