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Use of services and treatment adequacy of Major Depressive Episodes in France

Abstract : Introduction Though depressive disorders are major problems of public health, general population data about use of services and treatment adequacy are scarce in France. The literature suggests that the percentage of people suffering from mental disorders who are adequately treated is low. Aim of the study The objective of this study was to estimate the 12-month use of services in the French general population suffering from major depressive episodes (MDE) and levels of treatment adequacy. Method This analysis was conducted on data from the Health barometer 2005, an epidemiological survey concerning several health topics. Thirty thousand five hundred and fourteen individuals from 12 to 75 years old were interviewed by telephone from October 2004 to February 2005. Depressive disorders were assessed by a standardized tool, the CIDI-SF, according to DSM-IV classification. Results The mental health questions were answered by 16,883 individuals; i.e. by 60% of individuals aged 15 or older. One year prevalence of MDE was 7.8%. In this group, 58.2% used services in a 12-month period, though only 21% of the service users received adequate treatment. Amongst those who used services, 2/3 consulted health care professionals (i.e. 1/3 of people presenting a MDE). The remaining percentage – 21.4% – of people presenting a MDE used psychotropic drugs without mentioning any use of services for mental health problems. The vast majority of individuals with MDE who used services (34.6% of those with MDE) consulted a professional trained to treat depression (general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist and psychotherapist). Only a small proportion (19.9%) of those consulting a professional went to a non-specialist professional as well; and even less (6%) consulted only a non-specialist professional. Amongst trained professionals, most consultations (61%, or 21.1% of the MDE group) concern general practitioners; another 38.4% (13.3% of the MDE group) involved psychiatrists; and 27.8% (9.6% of the MDE group) went to psychologists or psychotherapists. Amongst the psychologists and psychotherapists, most consultations were with psychologists (74.1%). The proportion with adequate treatment differed according to the type of professional. Consulting a general practitioner is associated with the lowest levels of adequate treatment (37.2%, and for general practitioners only, 21.5%). Consulting a psychiatrist is associated with higher proportions of adequate treatment (65.1%, and for consulting a psychiatrist only, 60.7%). Consulting both a general practitioner and a psychiatrist is associated with the highest levels of adequate treatment (79.7%). Antidepressants (ATD) are used far more frequently than psychotherapy (PT): 33.4% of individuals with MDE used ATD, and among the latter, 58.4% had also used anxiolytic drugs (AXL). Finally, 26.9% of the MDE group used AXL, 7.5% without any use of ATD. For PT, 10.8% used PT, and 8.1% used PT and ATD. Discussion Improving use of professionals and treatment adequacy are two primary objectives from a public health perspective. Since most adequately treated people used an antidepressant therapy (90%), and only 30% a PT, use of psychotherapeutic approaches might be improved. Moreover, levels of treatment adequacy are very low in people presenting an MDE who did not consult for “mental health reasons”. Improving the recognition of symptoms of depression might contribute to better treatment adequacy.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 13, 2021 - 1:23:34 PM
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Xavier Briffault, Y Morvan, F Rouillon, R Dardennes, B Lamboy. Use of services and treatment adequacy of Major Depressive Episodes in France. L'Encéphale, Elsevier Masson, 2009, 36 (S2), pp.46-58. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2008.10.011⟩. ⟨hal-03477258⟩



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