What are available practice guidelines for depression / major depressive disorder?

There are numerous practice guidelines available for major depressive disorder. While no practice guidelines are a substitute for your clinical judgement and decision making, they can offer useful information and serve as a good reference. Many guidelines cover topics around antidepressant medication selection, psychotherapies like CBT, relapse prevention, and other treatment considerations. Most guidelines take up to a year to draft, and many are not updated for many years after release, so are not able to reflect the most current evidence. CSS-SMI has assembled a collection of current guidelines you can access. We do not endorse any but offer a variety to select from, each with a slightly different focus. They include ones from American Psychiatric Association as well as a briefer summary of those same guidelines, one from a commercial insurer, one from the
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, one from the Veterans Administration (VA), one from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one from the American College of Physicians, and another from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health.

U.S. Guidelines

Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder, Third Edition (APA, published 2015)

Treating Major Depressive Disorder: A Quick Reference Guide (APA, published 2010)

Introduction to Magellan’s Adopted Clinical Practice Guideline For the Assessment and Treatment of Patients With Major Depressive Disorder (Magellan Healthcare, published 2017)

Adult Depression in Primary Care (Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, published 2016)

Clinical Practice Review for Major Depressive Disorder (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, published 2016)

Nonpharmacologic Versus Pharmacologic Treatment of Adult Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (Annals of Internal Medicine, published 2016)

VA/DoD: Management of Major Depressive Disorder (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, published 2016)

International Guidelines

Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care: Recommendations on screening for depression in adults (Canadian Medical Association Journal, published 2013)

Clinical Practice Guideline on the Management of Depression in Adults (GuíaSalud, published 2008)

Evidence-based guidelines for treating depressive disorders with antidepressants: A revision of the 2008 British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines (Journal of Psychopharmacology, published 2015)

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