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Original Research

The Effect of Brochures and Audiotape on Efficacy and Tolerability of Venlafaxine in Depressed Outpatients: A Single-Blind Parallel Study in General Practice

Jan B. Deijen, Ph.D.; Hilde Kornaat, M.D.; and Petronella A. Cloin, M.Sc.

Published: June 1, 2000

Article Abstract

Objective: The possible positive effects of brochures and an audiotape containing information on efficacy and tolerance on side effects, dropout rate, and clinical outcome of treatment with venlafaxine were studied in 1048 depressed outpatients (as clinically judged by the general practitioner; 740 women and 308 men), aged 18 to 85 years.

Method: The study was of a single-blind, parallel-group design. All 4 groups were verbally informed: one group received only verbal information, a second group additionally received brochures, a third group additionally received information on audiotape, and a fourth group additionally received brochures and information on audiotape. There were 5 study visits, the first at baseline (week 0), followed by a visit at weeks 1, 2, 4, and 6. At each study visit, the Clinical Global Impressions scale, Zung Depression Scale, Quality of Life Scale, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were completed. The Patient’s and Investigator’s Subjective Ratings of Tolerance and Efficacy were completed at the final study visit.

Results: The brochures and audiotape reduced the dropout rate due to lack of efficacy
(p = .01 and p = .04, respectively). In addition, the percentage of patients reporting side effects was lower in the group that received brochures than in the group that received only verbal information (p = .05). Additional information had no effect on efficacy measures.

Conclusion: Supplying patients with education in the form of brochures and/or audiotape containing information on efficacy and tolerance of the drug reduces the dropout rate due to lack of efficacy. For the reduction of side effects, brochures in particular seem suitable. Information on audiotape or written information seems to lengthen the period that patients wait for the possible beneficial action of the medication. To reduce the dropout rate, it may be recommended that patients receive, in addition to brochures, spoken information on audiotape or compact disc.

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