Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre has launched an international survey to gather information about the side effects of antidepressants. Aimed at both patients and prescribers, results of the survey will be used to develop personalised treatment for depression in real-world clinical settings. The project is led by an international team of researchers, scientists and clinicians and coordinated by BRC Informatics and Digital Health Theme lead Andrea Cipriani.
Nearly 71 million prescriptions for antidepressants were given out in the UK in 2018 – nearly twice as many as ten years ago. Antidepressants are an effective treatment for depression but their side effects can be a reason for people to stop taking their prescribed medication.
Side effects of antidepressants can be extremely debilitating and are one of the main reasons that people stop taking the drugs. It is crucial that we understand which side effects are the most troublesome and intolerable to patients and which antidepressants cause these specific side effects.Dr Anneka Tomlinson
What is the SUSANA survey?
The SUSANA survey is a large-scale, international, online survey of antidepressant side effects funded by the National Institute for Health Research. The survey will increase our understanding of which side effects matter most to patients and their doctors. This data will contribute to the development of a clinical decision-making tool to be used in the NHS and will help ensure patients receive medication they are best able to tolerate.
SUSANA is an easy-to-complete international survey (in three different languages) designed with input from academic researchers, psychiatrists, psychologists, patients, carers and social media experts/influencers to better understand what really matters to patients and clinicians in terms of side effects from short and long-term treatment with antidepressantsProfessor Andrea Cipriani
Who can take part in the survey?
The SUSANA survey is aimed at all adult patients (aged over 18), with a history of depression who are taking or have taken antidepressant medication. The survey is also aimed at professionals involved in prescribing antidepressants including doctors, GPs and nurse and pharmacist prescribers. The survey can be found here https://elfi.sh/SUSANAsurvey
SUSANA will run for at least a month and results from the survey will be analysed by independent statisticians using the latest techniques for advanced data analysis.