November 28, 2014
Depression affects 7.5 million people, namely 12.5% of the population in Italy. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this illness is the first reason for disability nowadays. It is a serious problem affecting families and work: one depressed person out of 3 is still depressed after one year; one out of 10 will continue the treatment after 5 years from the first event, while more than a half will have a lifetime relapse. Other chronic, concomitant pathologies such as hypertension and diabetes worsen quality of life. In this framework, the family doctor plays an essential role.
For this reason, the “Psychè” project was established and presented at the 31st Congress of the Italian Society of General Medicine and Primary Health Care (SIMG) underway in Florence.
The initiative has been implemented with the complete contribution of Angelini in collaboration with the Italian Psychiatric Society (SIP) with the aim of transferring diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge to doctors across the territory in connection with the management of the patient affected by depression (and bipolar disorder).
“Unfortunately, the impact of this illness is underestimated”, said doctor Claudio Cricelli who is also the president of SIMG. “The guidelines recommend a 6 month treatment at least because of the high risk of recurrence. However, findings from several studies carried out in Italy have shown that the percentage of persons who take correctly and continuously antidepressant drugs are only 20%, while about 50% have suspended the treatment within 90 days and 70% within 6 months. This leads to lack of efficacy, and an unjustified number of persons exposed to possible side effects as well as extra costs for the National Health Service”.
The project “Psychè” has been divided into an early stage when 20 family doctors are trained with “special interest” in the neuropsychiatric field, who will also train 500 colleagues, and a second stage of implementation at local level. This way the knowledge gained will be implemented during the management of patients affected by psychiatric troubles, while the most difficult cases will be addressed to specialists.
As stated by Fabio De Luca, General Manager Pharma Division at Angelini “Psychiatric morbidity is one of the most relevant problems of public health, and depression is one of the most dominant chronic pathologies as shown by the WHO. This leads to the unavoidable consequence that the largest number of patients is managed within the Primary Health Care field. The family doctor plays an important role and remedy as to the identification and treatment, and addressing patients to specialists for those who are affected by such pathologies. ‘Psychè’ is an unprecedented project whose aim is to provide decisive approaches and tools to improve the management of those patients affected by such pathologies”.
The project was launched in June 2014, while first territorial courses of doctors who have been previously “trained”, will be held in 2015.