Less than 50 per cent of men and women in Ontario, who may be suffering from depression, see a doctor for treatment, a new study has said.
Conducted by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), the study has also revealed that many hospitalised for severe depression fail to see a doctor for follow-up care within 30 days of being discharged, and many head to hospital emergency departments for care.
A report on the study says that the findings suggest the need for a comprehensive care model involving a multidisciplinary team of health-care professionals, including family doctors and mental health specialists, to help women and men and better manage depression and improve their quality of life.
"As a leading cause of disease-related disability among women and men, depression puts a tremendous emotional and financial burden on people, their families and our health-care system," says Dr. Arlene Bierman, a physician at St. Michael's Hospital and principal investigator of the study Project for an Ontario Women's Health Evidence-Based Report (POWER).
"Many Ontarians with depression are not treated for their condition and those who are often receive less than desired care. While there is a lot that is known about how to improve depression, we need to apply this to our work with patients if we want to improve the diagnosis and management of depression.
"This involves better co-ordination among primary care and mental health-care professionals in both community and hospital settings," added Dr. Bierman, a researcher at ICES.