Collaborative Care Management of Late-Life Depression in the Primary Care Setting

A Randomized Controlled Trial

Published In: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 288, no. 22, Dec. 11, 2002, p. 2836-2845

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2002

by Jurgen Unutzer, Wayne J. Katon, Christopher M. Callahan, John W. Williams, Jr., Enid Hunkeler, Linda Harpole, Marc Hoffing, Richard D. Della Penna, Polly Hitchcock Noel, Elizabeth Lin, Patricia A. Arean, Mark T. Hegel, Lingqi Tang, Thomas R. Belin, Sabine M. Oishi, Christopher Langston

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CONTEXT: Few depressed older adults receive effective treatment in primary care settings. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of the Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment (IMPACT) collaborative care management program for late-life depression. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial with recruitment from July 1999 to August 2001. SETTING: Eighteen primary care clinics from 8 health care organizations in 5 states. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1801 patients aged 60 years or older with major depression (17%), dysthymic disorder (30%), or both (53%). INTERVENTION: Patients were randomly assigned to the IMPACT intervention (n = 906) or to usual care (n = 895). Intervention patients had access for up to 12 months to a depression care manager who was supervised by a psychiatrist and a primary care expert and who offered education, care management, and support of antidepressant management by the patient's primary care physician or a brief psychotherapy for depression, Problem Solving Treatment in Primary Care. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Assessments at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months for depression, depression treatments, satisfaction with care, functional impairment, and quality of life. RESULTS: At 12 months, 45% of intervention patients had a 50% or greater reduction in depressive symptoms from baseline compared with 19% of usual care participants (odds ratio [OR], 3.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.71-4.38; P<.001). Intervention patients also experienced greater rates of depression treatment (OR, 2.98; 95% CI, 2.34-3.79; P<.001), more satisfaction with depression care (OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 2.66-4.30; P<.001), lower depression severity (range, 0-4; between-group difference, -0.4; 95% CI, -0.46 to -0.33; P<.001), less functional impairment (range, 0-10; between-group difference, -0.91; 95% CI, -1.19 to -0.64; P<.001), and greater quality of life (range, 0-10; between-group difference, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-0.79; P<.001) than participants assigned to the usual care group. CONCLUSION: The IMPACT collaborative care model appears to be feasible and significantly more effective than usual care for depression in a wide range of primary care practices.

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