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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 508623, 8 pages
Research Article

Depression, Comorbidities, and Prescriptions of Antidepressants in a German Network of GPs and Specialists with Subspecialisation in Anthroposophic Medicine: A Longitudinal Observational Study

1Havelhoehe Research Institute, Kladower Damm 221, 14089 Berlin, Germany
2Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
3Department of General Practice, University of Düsseldorf, Moorenstraße 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
4Institute for General Practice and Family Medicine, University of Witten/Herdecke, Alfred-Herrhausen-Straße 50, 58448 Witten, Germany

Received 12 July 2012; Accepted 8 October 2012

Academic Editor: Jörg Melzer

Copyright © 2012 Elke Jeschke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Depression is a major reason for counselling in primary care. Our study aims at evaluating pharmacological treatment strategies among physicians specialised in anthroposophic medicine (AM). Methods. From 2004 to 2008, twenty-two German primary care AM-physicians participated in this prospective, multicentre observational study. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with a prescription of any antidepressant medication. Results. A total of 2444 patients with depression were included (mean age: 49.1 years (SD: 15.4); 77.3% female). 2645 prescriptions of antidepressants for 833 patients were reported. Phytotherapeutic preparations from Hypericum perforatum were the most frequently prescribed antidepressants over all (44.6% of all antidepressants), followed by amitriptyline (16.1%). The likelihood of receiving an antidepressant medication did not depend on comorbidity after controlling for age, gender, physician specialisation, and type of depression (adjusted OR ; CI: 0.81–1.26). Patients who had cancer were significantly less likely to be prescribed an antidepressant medication than those who had no cancer ( ; CI: 0.57–0.97). Conclusion. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of everyday practice for the treatment of depression in AM -physicians. Further analysis regarding the occurrence of critical combinations is of high interest to health services research.