The draft guidance includes a menu of treatment options for patients with depression to choose from with their healthcare professional

COVID mental health_web

NICE has published new draft guidance on the identification, treatment, and management of depression in adults. The new guideline, Depression in adults: treatment and management, will update and replace NICE Clinical Guideline 90, Depression in adults: recognition and management, which was published in 2009.

The draft guideline includes recommendations on recognition and assessment, treatment choice and delivery, chronic depression, prevention of relapse, and access to mental health services, and is open for consultation until 12 January 2022. 

The guidance encourages the use of a new menu of treatment options, to allow patients with depression to choose the treatment that is most suitable for them in a shared decision-making discussion with a healthcare professional. 

The menu includes a range of first-line treatment options for patients with less severe depression, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, exercise, counselling, or psychotherapy. A similar choice of psychological interventions, as well as antidepressant medication, should be offered as first-line treatment for patients with more severe depression.

Dr Paul Chrisp, Director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: ‘People with depression deserve and expect the best treatment from the NHS, which is why this guideline is urgently required.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the impact depression has had on the nation’s mental health. People with depression need these evidence-based guideline recommendations available to the NHS, without delay.’

Nav Kapur, Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health at the University of Manchester and Chair of the guideline committee, said: This is a broad-ranging guideline on depression, which has been an enormous challenge to produce.

‘In particular, we’ve emphasised the role of patient choice—suggesting that practitioners should offer people a choice of evidence-based treatments and understanding that not every treatment will suit every person. We now need stakeholders’ help to make the recommendations as good as they can possibly be.’

The updated guideline is expected to be published on 12 May 2022.


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