Wissenschaftliche Publikationen

Antidepressant prescription practice and related factors in Switzerland: a cross-sectional analysis of health claims data


Authors: Elisa Haller, Birgit Watzke, Eva Blozik, Thomas Rosemann, Oliver Reich, Carola A. Huber* and Markus Wolf*

Journal: BMC Psychiatry


The aim of the study was to examine the prevalence of and factors associated with antidepressant (AD) prescriptions in order to draw a comprehensive picture of prescribing practices in Switzerland.


We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional descriptive study using a large Swiss healthcare claims database, covering approximately 13% of the Swiss population. AD prescription was determined by identifying patients (N = 105,663) with health claims data of at least 1 AD prescription in the year 2016. AD medication was identified using ATC-codes classified by the World Health Organisation. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses using logistic regression were performed.


The extrapolated 1-year prevalence of AD prescription was 8.7% (95% CI, 8.7–8.8) with two thirds of AD recipients being female and the average age being 59 years (SD = 19.1). The regional distribution of prescription rates varied between cantons and ranged from 6.5 to 11.7%. Logistic regression revealed higher prescription rates among females compared to males (OR: 1.52) and an increased probability of AD prescription by age up until 54 years (OR: 2.25) and ≥ 85 years (OR: 2.32). Comorbidity is associated with higher odds (OR: 3.26 with 1–2 comorbidities) and enrollment in a managed care plan (compared to standard care) with lower odds for an AD prescription (OR: 0.85).


This study is the first in Switzerland to describe the prevalence of and factors associated with AD prescription based on a large health claims database reflecting routine care. The results provide important information about regional variation, prescription source, and potential over-prescription in the treatment of depressive disorders.

Full article (in English)