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Battling Depression: From Clinical Development Strategies to Patient Perspectives

According to WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide (1). Depression is a debilitating disorder that impacts physical health and wellbeing. In the US alone, it is estimated that 17.3 million adults had at least one major depressive episode, representing 7.1% of all US adults (2). Each year in Europe 25% of the population suffer from depression or anxiety, about 50% of major depressions are untreated, and up to 50% of chronic sick leaves are due to depression/anxiety (3). While there are effective treatments available, many patients need to try multiple medication regimens before they fully recover from their symptoms, and up to a third of people fail multiple attempts at treatment (4). Additionally, it is not uncommon for patients suffering from depression to be incorrectly diagnosed leading to a delay in treatment. Conversely, others who do not have depression may be misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants, which are ineffective.

The problem has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll, 53% of adults in the US reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus (5). Social isolation, financial stress, health concerns, and feelings of loss have all increased during COVID-19 and that

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Dr Thomas Thompson is a Medical Department Vice President at Medpace. Thomas is board certified in both psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry, and has over 20 years of Phase I-IV clinical development experience.

Miaesha Campbell is Director of Patient Recruitment at Medpace with over 13 years of experience overseeing patient recruitment and retention strategies and solutions for clinical trials.

Jill Adkins is a Director in Clinical Trial Management at Medpace with over 20 years of clinical research experience, with a particular interest in the development of treatments for neurological and psychiatric indications.

Joan Gushue is a Director in Clinical Trial Management at Medpace with over 15 years of clinical research experience, including eight years as a Clinical Trial Manager and seven years as a Clinical Research Associate.
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