Declaration of interest None.
Aims and method To examine gender differences in self-reported depression and prescribed antidepressants (ADs). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess depression, and information on prescribed ADs was obtained from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register.
Results Depression was reported by 11.7% of the participants (12.3% men and 11.2% women). ADs were prescribed for 7.6% of the participants (5.3% men, 9.8% women). Among men, 1.8% reported depression and used ADs, 10.5% reported depression but did not use ADs, and 3.6% used ADs but did not report depression. The corresponding figures for women were 2.6%, 8.6% and 7.2%.
Clinical implications Men report depression to a greater extent than women but are prescribed ADs to a lesser extent, possibly a sign of under-treatment. Women are prescribed ADs without reporting depression more often than men, possibly a sign of over-treatment. Although the causes remain unclear, diagnostic and treatment guidelines should benefit from considering gender differences in these respects.
- © 2016 The Royal College of Psychiatrists
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