EXPERIMENT DESIGN AND PROTOCOL
The target population for this study were MDD patients in Malaysia. However, the selection of the potential participants from the MDD patients was based on the inclusion criteria as defined in the next subsection.
The following inclusion criteria were defined for the participant to be involved in the experiment:
- 1. Patients must sign written informed consent
- 2. Patients must be within the age limit (18-65 years)
- 3. Patients with diagnosed MDD (DSM-IV)
a. Newly diagnosed (new cases)
b. Newly started (old cases)
i. Restarted on antidepressant (one week washout)
ii. Switched to new antidepressant
Patients were excluded in the study based on the following exclusion criteria:
- 1. Patients having psychotic, cognitive disorder
- 2. Patients with any other drug abuse
- 3. Pregnant patients
- 4. Patients with epilepsy
The clinical datasets include assessment scores based on clinically relevant questionnaires such as the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). For this study, the questionnaires were Malay (national language in Malaysia) translated versions. The Malay versions of HADS25 and BDI-II26 are standard clinically proven questionnaires to rate MDD severity. Furthermore, the questionnaires were self-administered. However, to improve the quality and to maintain the accuracy of the process, the questionnaires were administered under the supervision of an experienced nursing staff.