Study of antidepressant use in 5 European settings. Could economic, sociodemographic and cultural determinants be related to their use?

A. Gomez-Lumbreras, P. Ferrer, E. Ballarín, X. Vidal, M. Andretta, A. Coma, L. Ibáñez, Mònica Sabate Gallego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

24 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 Background: We aimed at describing the trends in antidepressants use (AD) by age and sex, during 2007–2011, in 5 European settings (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Catalonia and Veneto), and to assess whether the differences found across settings could be related to economic, social and cultural determinants. Methods: We collected data of AD use expressed in defined daily doses (DDD). Data were retrieved from population-based databases. We calculated DDD/1000 inhabitants/day. We analysed which economic, social, and cultural covariates determined between-settings differences in AD consumption. Results: The use of AD showed an increasing trend during the study period, being Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors the most consumed, followed “others AD”. Women and the elderly showed the highest AD consumption. Between-settings variability in AD consumption showed a positive correlation with pharmaceutical expenditure and a negative one with general practitioner's rate. After adjusting by pharmaceutical expenditure and general practitioners rate Masculinity, Long-Term Orientation and Individualism cultural dimensions were associated with AD use by using the Hofstede´s cultural dimensions model. Limitations: This study has been conducted in administrative databases, with no information on AD use by indication; differences among AD use could be related to their prescription for other disorders. Analyses were based on a small dataset and none of the results reached statistical significance. Conclusions: AD use increased through 2007–2011. Pharmaceutical expenditure and General Practitioners rate, Masculinity, Long-Term Orientation and Individualism explained the differences in AD use between countries. People's attitude should be considered when designing national campaigns to improve antidepressant use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Administrative databases
  • Antidepressants
  • Cross-cultural comparison
  • Defined daily doses
  • Masculinity
  • Age Factors
  • Humans
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Male
  • Antidepressive Agents/economics
  • Prescription Fees
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors/therapeutic use
  • Depressive Disorder/drug therapy
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Utilization/economics
  • CARE


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