Improving Care for Depression in Primary Care - the RAND Partners in Care Tools

Partners in Care (PIC) is an integrated approach to improving care for depression in primary care. Its two quality improvement programs — one focused on medication, the other on psychotherapy — are designed for use with socioeconomically and ethnically diverse populations and can be implemented successfully by clinicians in nonacademic managed care settings.

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All materials have been developed, reviewed, and updated by outstanding clinical experts, and adhere to national clinical guidelines.

The entire Partners in Care package is available for order or free download.

  • The Clinician Guide to Depression Assessment and Management in Primary Care gives primary care physicians the information they need to assess and treat patients, as well as key references on patient education, medications, and psychotherapy.

  • Key points from the Guide are summarized in the pocket-sized Quick Reference Cards (PDF), which include up-to-date information on antidepressants, including doses, side effects, and typical costs.

  • The individual and group manuals for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy have been tested by psychotherapists and patients over half a decade. They provide all the patient and clinician materials needed for implementing this approach in English or Spanish.

  • Guidelines and Resources for the Depression Nurse Specialist is a valuable reference for people interested in implementing case management for depression or other chronic diseases. This 118-page guide contains the instructions, forms, and materials needed to carry out case management. The approach is logic-based and has been successfully computerized.

  • The patient education brochures are suitable for use both with patients who feel sad, but do not have major depression, and those who have the full-blown illness. The brochures were created with input from focus groups, and have been rated as "highly useful" by patients.

Sponsored by
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
National Institute of Mental Health
Research Center on Managed Care for Psychiatric Disorders
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
VA Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior
Used successfully by clinicians at
Allina Medical Group (Twin Cities, Minnesota)
Columbia Medical Plan (Maryland)
Humana Health Care Plans (San Antonio)
PacifiCare of Texas (San Antonio)
MedPartners (Los Angeles)
ValleyWide Health Services (Colorado)
Alamo Mental Health Group (San Antonio)
San Luis Valley Mental Health/Colorado Health Networks (Colorado)
GreenSpring Mental Health Services (Maryland)