Introduction. Goal of Antidepressant Therapy: Response or Remission and Recovery?

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An apparent paradox has emerged in the management of the depressed patient. While randomized controlled clinical trial results and other lines of evidence have established that a variety of antidepressant treatments are capable of producing excellent efficacy outcomes, the actual long-term outcomes observed in clinical practice are rather disappointing. For example, on one hand, 90% to 95% of depressed patients can be expected to respond to one or a combination of antidepressant interventions,1 and more than 50% of depressed patients will recover within 6 months of an index episode of depression.2

J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60(suppl 6):3-4