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Survey of Antidepressants Use Passes 2,000 Mark

MEDIA RELEASE – UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND Nov 4 2012

Survey of New Zealanders’ Experiences of Antidepressants Passes 2,000 Mark

The first survey to ask New Zealanders about their experiences with antidepressants has already been responded to by 2,000 people. But the researchers, from the Department of Psychology at The University of Auckland, have decided to keep the online survey running for a few more weeks. “We want as many people as possible to have their say about these drugs, se we will keep the survey open until the end of the year” said Professor John Read, the lead researcher.

One in 11 adults are prescribed anti-depressants every year. While there is debate amongst researchers and clinicians about the relative merits of antidepressants, little is known about how the people who are prescribed the drugs actually experience them.

“Our approach positions the people who are prescribed antidepressants as the experts,” explains one of the researchers Dr Kerry Gibson who is a senior lecturer in clinical psychology. There has been lots of research looking at whether antidepressants are effective but we want to give a voice to those people who have actually experienced the pros and cons of these drugs. We see their contribution as a critical part of the debate about antidepressants.”

“We are interested in finding out about all the different experiences people have had with antidepressant medications. We would like to know about what symptom relief people experienced as well as any side effects. We are also keen to know their views on what causes depression” said Gibson.

Anyone currently over 18 who has been prescribed antidepressants in the last five years is eligible to take part even if they are no longer taking them. People who have been prescribed antidepressants but decided not to take them all are also welcome to take part.

The survey, can be accessed at: http://www.viewsonantidepressants.co.nz/

j.read@auckland.ac.nz
kl.gibson@auckland.ac.nz

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