Methods/design: PANDA is a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial in which participants are individually randomised to sertraline or placebo. Eligible participants are those who are between the ages of 18 to 74; have presented to primary care with depression or low mood during the past 2 years; have not received antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication in the 8 weeks prior to enrolment in the trial and there is clinical equipoise about the benefits of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication. Participants who consent to participate in the trial are randomised to receive either sertraline or matching placebo, starting at 50mg daily for 1 week, increasing to 100 mg daily for up to 11 weeks (with the option of increasing to 150mg if required). Participants, general practitioners (GPs) and the research team will be blind to treatment allocation. The primary outcome will be depressive symptoms measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) at 6 weeks post randomisation, measured as a continuous outcome. Secondary outcomes include depressive symptoms measured with the PHQ-9 at 2 and 12 weeks as a continuous outcome and at 2, 6 and 12 weeks as a binary outcome; follow-up scores on depressive symptoms measured with the Beck Depression Inventory-II, anxiety symptoms measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 and quality of life measured with the Euroqol-5D-5L and Short Form-12; emotional processing task scores measured at baseline, 2 and 6 weeks; and costs associated with healthcare use, time off work and personal costs.
Discussion: The PANDA trial uses a simple self-administered measure to establish the severity and duration of depressive symptoms associated with a clinically significant response to sertraline. The evidence from the trial will inform primary care prescribing practice by identifying which patients are more likely to benefit from antidepressants.
- Primary care
- Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors