Antidepressant use in 27 European countries: Associations with sociodemographic, cultural and economic factors

Dan Lewer, Claire O'Reilly, Ramin Mojtabai, Sara Evans-Lacko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Prescribing of antidepressants varies widely between European countries despite no evidence of difference in the prevalence of affective disorders. Aims To investigate associations between the use of antidepressants, country-level spending on healthcare and country-level attitudes towards mental health problems. Method We used Eurobarometer 2010, a large general population survey from 27 European countries, to measure antidepressant use and regularity of use. We then analysed the associations with country-level spending on healthcare and country-level attitudes towards mental health problems. Results Higher country spending on healthcare was strongly associated with regular use of antidepressants. Beliefs that mentally ill people are 'dangerous' were associated with higher use, and beliefs that they 'never recover' or 'have themselves to blame' were associated with lower and less regular use of antidepressants. Conclusions Contextual factors, such as healthcare spending and public attitudes towards mental illness, may partly explain variations in antidepressant use and regular use of these medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Volume207
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2015.

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