Primary Care Patients' Involvement in Decision-Making Is Associated with Improvement in Depression

Published in: Medical Care, v. 44, no. 5, May 2006, p. 398-405

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Sarah L. Clever, Daniel Ford, Lisa V. Rubenstein, Kathryn Rost, Lisa S. Meredith, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Nae-Yuh Wang, Jose J. Arbelaez, Lisa A. Cooper

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BACKGROUND: Depression is undertreated in primary care settings. Little research investigates the impact of patient involvement in decisions on guideline-concordant treatment and depression outcomes. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine whether patient involvement in decision-making is associated with guideline-concordant care and improvement in depression symptoms. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Multisite, nationwide randomized clinical trial of quality improvement strategies for depression in primary care. SUBJECTS: Primary care patients with current symptoms and probable depressive disorder. MEASUREMENTS: Patients rated their involvement in decision-making (IDM) about their care on a 5-point scale from poor to excellent 6 months after entry into the study. Depressive symptoms were measured every 6 months for 2 years using a modified version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. The authors examined probabilities (Pr) of receipt of guideline-concordant care and resolution of depression across IDM groups using multivariate logistic regression models controlling for patient and provider factors. RESULTS: For each 1-point increase in IDM ratings, the probability of patients' report of receiving guideline-concordant care increased 4% to 5% (adjusted Pr 0.31 vs. 0.50 for the lowest and highest IDM ratings, respectively, P < 0.001). Similarly, for each 1-point increase in IDM ratings, the probability of depression resolution increased 2% to 3% (adjusted Pr 0.10 vs. 0.19 for the lowest and highest IDM ratings respectively, P = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Depressed patients with higher ratings of involvement in medical decisions have a higher probability of receiving guideline-concordant care and improving their symptoms over an 18-month period. Interventions to increase patient involvement in decision-making may be an important means of improving care for and outcomes of depression.

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