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Project #11:
Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on antidepressant prescribing

  • Type: Service evaluation

We will assess the impact of COVID-19 on antidepressant prescribing; one of five medicine classes identified in the PHE Review which NHSE/I are prioritising and leading on. As described by the OpenSafely paper in the Lancet, addressing the effect that the pandemic has had on mental health is important and we will use primary care data to measure and mitigate the indirect health impacts of COVID-19 on the NHS.

We will investigate whether potential barriers to accessing mental health services over the course of the pandemic have led to specific (or a change in) indications driving the already increasing trend in antidepressant prescribing by observing:

  • the rate of new initiations of antidepressants
  • the discontinuation of antidepressants

We will investigate the the impact of COVID-19 on dependency forming medication use by age, gender, Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), ethnicity, region (and other system level geographical cuts)