Improving Depression Outcomes in Primary Care

A User’s Guide to Implementing the Partners in Care Approach

by Lisa V. Rubenstein

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Abstract

The User’s Guide describes each component of the Partners in Care quality-improvement kit, its implementation, and its design features. Together, the User’s Guide and the kit provide the information and materials needed to understand and implement the Partners in Care (PIC) approach to improving care for depression. The User’s Guide also contains references to key studies and to many materials relevant to treating depression in primary care. The PIC approach is a synthesis of knowledge gained during a decade of health services research on depression by many groups of researchers, and reflects a successful, state-of-the-art method of caring for this illness. More than 250 generalist physicians, in collaboration with nurses and mental health specialists, have used the PIC approach and the materials included in this kit to improve mood, reduce family stress, and promote employment retention among a diverse group of patients coming to primary care clinics for their routine medical care.

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This project was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) and was conducted by RAND Health.

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