Clinical case study

Depression: tailoring initial treatment and re-examining the options

Depression treatment should be tailored to the individual patient. Meet two different patients with depression. How would you progress their initial care?

  • Cost: free

CPD depression girl


It is recommended that 1 CPD hour be recorded for the purposes of self-directed CPD.



Two different patients with depression. How would you progress their initial care?

Brittany is a 22-year-old university student in her last year of study who is feeling down and having trouble sleeping and concentrating. Brittany’s goal is to concentrate at uni and feel better.

Meanwhile 58-year-old Phil is feeling “flat” and “detached” 6 weeks after a myocardial infarction. He wants to get back to work.

How will you assess and manage these patients? Is the oral contraceptive pill likely to be contributing to Brittany’s depression? Will antidepressants interact with Phil’s low dose aspirin or statin treatment?

Complete this online case study and you can receive instant feedback on your answers, compare your approach to that of your peers and read expert commentary provided by leading psychiatrist Dr Caryl Barnes.


By completing this case study you will be able to:

  • discuss management plans with patients who have depression.
  • outline non-pharmacological interventions for mild and moderate depression that are likely to be as or more effective than antidepressant medicines
  • assess for, and discuss, adverse effects of antidepressants.
  • employ strategies to improve patient adherence to treatment with antidepressant medicines.