PCORI hosted a multi-stakeholder workshop to discuss whether comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) can help to answer questions surrounding treatment of major depressive disorders. We asked representatives of a wide range of stakeholder groups, including patients, caregivers, clinicians, industry, payers, and researchers to participate in this discussion.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a serious mood disorder that causes significant distress and interferes with a person’s basic functioning. Symptoms include sad or depressed mood, reduced interest/pleasure in most activities, weight gain or loss, insomnia or hypersomnia, motor agitation or retardation, reduced energy, extreme feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt, reduced ability to concentrate and/or make decisions, frequent thoughts of suicide, and overt suicide attempts. In addition to the negative effects on the quality of life and productivity of patients and their families, depression is associated with various increased physical and mental health risks (cardiovascular disease, increased recovery time after surgery, increased complications during recovery, worse outcomes after illness, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and eating disorders). MDD can include a single episode or be recurrent.

In 2012, an estimated 16 million adults aged 18 or older (or 6.9% of the U.S. adult population) had at least one major depressive episode within the past year. Results from a 2006 study conducted by SAMHSA show that an estimated 30.4 million adults (13.9% of the U.S. adult population) suffered from one or more major depressive episodes in their lifetime. Various treatments and treatment categories (behavioral, pharmacological, somatic) are used for MDD. Given the high prevalence of MDD and its impact on functional status, there is a need for new research to compare the effects of treatments and treatment combinations on symptoms and functioning. There also are opportunities for comparative effectiveness research on features of the health systems delivering care.

In-person attendance was by invitation only, but the public was welcome to listen in via teleconference/webinar.

Meeting Materials

Teleconference Audio Recording