There have been no data about long-term benzodiazepine (BZD) use and its correlates in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) in China. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of long-term BZD use (more than three months) and its demographic and clinical correlates in Chinese patients with MDD.DESIGN AND METHODS:
A total of 1,192 patients with MDD were examined in 10 mental health centers in China. Patients' socio-demographic and clinical characteristics and prescriptions for psychotropic drugs were recorded using a standardized form.FINDINGS:
A large portion of patients (36.2%) received long-term BZD treatment. Univariate analyses revealed that long-term BZD users were older, poorer, and had more impaired occupational functioning than patients not taking BZDs. Long-term BZD users had fewer psychotic symptoms and took less antipsychotic drugs. In multivariate analyses, long-term BZD use was independently associated with older age and more severe impaired occupational functioning; long-term BZD users were less likely to receive antipsychotic medications and traditional antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants, tetracyclic antidepressant, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors).PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:
Long-term BZD use was common in patients with MDD in China. A host of demographic and clinical factors were independently associated with long-term BZD use.