Ketamine treatment for depression: qualitative study exploring patient views
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Jilka, S., Odoi, C., Wilson, E., Meran, S., Simblett, S., & Wykes, T. (2021). Ketamine treatment for depression: Qualitative study exploring patient views. BJPsych Open, 7(1), E32.
Ketamine is a new and promising treatment for depression but comes with challenges to implement because of its potential for abuse. Aims We sought the views of patients to inform policy and practical decisions about the clinical use of ketamine before large-scale roll-out is considered. Method This qualitative study used three focus groups and three validation sessions from 14 patients with prior diagnoses of depression but no experience of ketamine treatment. Focus groups explored their views about clinical use of ketamine and the best way for ketamine to be administered and monitored. The qualitative data were analysed by three service-user researchers using thematic analysis. Results Five themes were generated: changing public perceptions, risks, monitoring, privacy and data protection, and practical aspects. Participants were conscious of the stigma attached to ketamine as a street drug and wanted better public education, and evidence on the safety of ketamine after long-term use. They felt that monitoring was required to provide evidence for ketamine's safe use and administration, but there were concerns about the misuse of this information. Practical aspects included discussions about treatment duration, administration and accessibility (for example who would receive it, under what criteria and how). Conclusions Patients are enthusiastic about ketamine treatment but need more information before national roll-out. The wider societal impact of ketamine treatment also needs to be considered and patients need to be part of any future roll-out to ensure its success.
Acknowledgements: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Patient and Carer Involvement and Engagement theme; and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Published online at:
- Depressive Disorders