Author(s): Sperling W, Reulbach U, Kornhuber J
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Abstract BACKGROUND: To evaluate clinical aspects and cost effectiveness of the treatment with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), a group of 9 VNS-implanted patients and 9 age- and sex-matched patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression were included in a prospective study. METHODS: The psychopathological ratings over 12 months as well as socio-economic data on the duration of hospitalisation, frequency of outpatient treatment, and subsequent drug treatment were compared with the pre-implantation period. RESULTS: Compared with baseline values in the HAMD scale (mean 23.7; SD 2.4), there was a significant (t=14.5; df=8; p<0.001) improvement in symptoms after 12 months' stimulation (mean 10.2; SD 2.4). The duration of hospitalisation dropped on average by 20 days in the first post-implantation year, the treatment frequency from 33 to 14 visits, and drug treatment from 4 to an average of 3 psychotropic drugs. CONCLUSION: In addition to an improvement in clinical symptoms, the VNS method might enable an amortisation of costs.
This article was published in Pharmacopsychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Trials