Depression management in medical clinics: Does the healthcare sector make a difference

Journal Article

Published By

American Journal of Medical Quality, Vol. 19, page(s): 28-36

Jan-Feb 2004

20503 small american journal of medical quality

Medical providers often fail to treat depression. We examined whether treatment is more aggressive in a setting with accessible mental health resources, the Veterans Health Administration (VA). VA and non-VA primary care physicians and medical specialists viewed a videotape vignette portraying a patient meeting criteria for major depression and then answered interviewer-administered questions about management. We found that 24% of VA versus 15% of non-VA physicians would initiate guideline-recommended treatment (antidepressants or mental health referral, or both) (P = .09). Among those who identified depression as likely, 42% of VA versus 19% of non-VA physicians would treat (P = .002): 23% versus 3% recommended mental health referral (P

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