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The great ambivalence: factors likely to affect service user and public acceptability of the pharmacogenomics of antidepressant medication

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael Barr


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Whilst antidepressant medications are widely used, they are ineffective for nearly 40 per cent of users and cause numerous adverse drug reactions. The pharmacogenomics of depression attempts to better understand the role of genetic variation in antidepressant metabolism in the hope of improving drug efficacy and tolerability. In this paper we present findings from a series of focus groups with the general public and with mental health service users in four European sites. Results indicate broad support for genome-based therapies for depression. Findings, however, also show a wide spread of ambivalence regarding the nature and causes of depression, as well as the use of antidepressant medication. We argue that these uncertainties may negatively impact public and user acceptability of the pharmacogenomics of antidepressants.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Barr MT, Rose D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociology of Health and Illness

Year: 2008

Volume: 30

Issue: 6

Pages: 944-958

ISSN (print): 0141-9889

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9566


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2008.01116.x

PubMed id: 18761513


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