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Major Depressive Disorder: Evidence Based Practice

Author: Department of Veterans Affairs

Course Created: 2010

Practice Level: Intermediate

No book to buy Duration: 10 hours
3.5 out of 4.0, Based on: 33 reviews

Course Summary

Depression is a major cause of disability worldwide. Evidence for the effectiveness of various pharmacological and psychological treatments is abundant, yet outcomes are often disappointing. This may reflect poor patient understanding of the illness, poor adherence to treatment or inadequate systems to support high quality care. Given the low detection and recognition rates, it is essential that mental health practitioners have the required skills to assess patients with depression, their social circumstances and relationships, and the risk they may pose to themselves and to others. This is especially important in view of the fact that depression is associated with an increased suicide rate, a strong tendency for recurrence and high personal and social costs. This course covers the effective assessment of a patient, including risk assessment, and the subsequent coordination of the patient’s care.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF or Word) and a practice test. When you're ready, purchase the course by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Course Syllabus

  • Definitions
  • Screening
  • Dangerous Conditions
  • Assessment
  • Diagnostic Work-up
  • Depression NOS
  • Dysthymia
  • Treatment Response
  • Full Remission
  • Pharmacologic Treatment
  • Psychotherapy
  • Somatic Treatments
  • Other Treatments

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the diagnostic criteria for MDD.
  • Describe the criteria for full remission of MDD.
  • Explain instruments used to assess MDD.
  • Describe ways to increase treatment adherence.
  • Explain first line medications for MDD.
  • Discuss evidence based psychotherapies for MDD.
  • Describe the effectiveness of alternative treatments for MDD.


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