Long-term depression management in primary care successful

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It would make sense that a depression management program in a primary care environment would be a good supplement to psychiatric care considering the prevalence and frequency of patient / doctor interaction. However, history has shown considerable gaps between primary care and psychiatric condition management, let alone screening. This reality has improved over the last few decades due to heightened public awareness about mental health issues; research continues to bear out the need for primary care intervention related to psychiatric concerns. A study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine found that integration of a long-term depression management program in primary care produced sustained improvements in clinical outcomes for patients with chronic depression. During the 18 month study of over 700 patients, outcomes scores, based on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8), favored intervention patients compared to controls. “We conclude that a low-intensity, tailored care management program based on the Chronic Care Model can lead to sustainable improvement in care for depression for chronically depressed patients found in real-world primary care practices,” wrote Michael Klinkman, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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