Multi-component models for improving depression care target primary care (PC) clinics, yet few studies document usual clinic-level care. This case comparison assessed usual processes for depression management at 10 PC clinics. Although general similarities existed across sites, clinics varied on specific processes, barriers, and adherence to practice guidelines. Screening for depression conformed to guidelines. Processes for assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up varied to different degrees in different clinics. This individuality of usual care should be defined prior to quality improvement interventions, and may provide insights for introducing or tailoring changes, as well as improving interpretation of evaluation results.
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