The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published its first new guideline in 12 years on identifying, treating and managing depression in adults.
Guideline NG22 outlines recommended treatments for first episodes of depression and further-line treatments.
It also provides advice on preventing relapse and managing chronic depression and psychotic depression plus depression with a co-existing diagnosis of personality disorder.
The guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG90, which was published in October 2009.
The publication has been welcomed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which highlighted that it will allow patients better to pick which treatment is right for them, in a shared decision-making discussion between them and their healthcare practitioner.
College president Dr Adrian James said: “Depression can be a severe and debilitating illness but with the right treatment and support most people can make a full recovery. The NICE guidance on depression offers evidence-based treatment options to patients – from psychological therapies to the prescribed use of antidepressants.
“The focus of the guidance, which will play an integral part in the treatment of depression in years to come is, rightly, on promoting shared decision making with patients. This can be achieved by having open conversations about the benefits and risks of different treatments, and how well their current treatment is working.
“This patient-centred approach will help clinicians to keep supporting those experiencing depression to make informed decisions about their care that is tailored to their individual needs,” he added.