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Assessing Response to Treatment and Recognizing Residual Depressive Symptoms

J Clin Psychiatry 2014;75(1):e01
10.4088/JCP.13018tx2c

Effective assessment of antidepressant response is necessary in order to detect and resolve residual symptoms. Most patients will experience residual symptoms, but no single rating scale or assessment method is able to effectively detect all of the symptoms that patients may experience. Residual symptoms comprise symptoms as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as well as non-DSM symptoms. Therefore, clinicians need to use a variety of assessment methods and consider several factors that may be contributing to residual symptoms. When residual symptoms are detected, clinicians must decide on the next-step treatment strategy, which can include continuing the current treatment, switching to within-class agents, switching to agents with a different mechanism of action, or augmenting medications.

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