notes (if applicable):
|Why this is important:- Depression commonly coexists with autism and is associated with poorer health outcomes and quality of life. This may occur because of the direct impact of the depression but also because of a negative interaction with the core symptoms of autism. There is poor recognition and consequently suboptimal treatment for depression in adults with autism. However, it is probable that when depression is recognised the most commonly used treatment is antidepressant medication as it is an effective intervention for moderate to severe depression. Little is known about the extent of the use of antidepressant medication, adherence to prescribed medication and its effectiveness in adults with autism. Moreover, concerns have also been raised about the increased sensitivity of people with autism to the side effects of SSRIs and other antidepressant drugs.
The suggested programme of research would need to: (a) describe the current use of SSRIs in
adults with depression and autism; (b) review the potential impact of increased sensitivity of
adults with autism to the side effects of medication; and (c) formally evaluate the outcomes
(including symptoms, satisfaction and quality of life) of SSRIs in a series of randomised