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Antidepressant non-adherence is common among veterans, with ineffectiveness and side effects as commonly reported reasons

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What are the types of non-adherence, reasons for non-adherence and side effects experienced by veterans receiving antidepressants?


Self-reported adherence was determined using a specially designed instrument. At the 6- and 12-month follow-up surveys, the participants' electronic medical records were searched to identify any prescriptions or refills of antidepressants in the past 6 months. The participants with an active prescription were asked if they were currently taking their prescribed medication, how frequently they took the medication in the previous month and if they took the dosage prescribed. Patients were categorised as adherent if they reported taking the full dosage ≥80% of the time. Adherence was also measured using medication possession ratios calculated from administrative pharmacy data. Reasons for non-adherence, and the most important reason, were elicited in the adherence interview using a prespecified list of possible reasons. Adherence was also discussed in open-ended semistructured qualitative telephone interviews.


Non-adherence, side effects and reasons for non-adherence. Response was measured as part of the RCT and was defined as ≥50% improvement in depression severity on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist from baseline.



Mixed-methods analysis of an RCT.

Main results

During the first 6 months, 70% of participants (n=252 out of the …

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  • Sources of funding US Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Conflicting interests None.

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