Cover: Long-term Benefits of Short-Term Quality Improvement Interventions for Depressed Youths in Primary Care

Long-term Benefits of Short-Term Quality Improvement Interventions for Depressed Youths in Primary Care

Published in: The American Journal of Psychiatry, v. 166, no. 9, Sep. 2009, p. 1002-1010

Posted on 2009

by Joan Rosenbaum Asarnow, Lisa H. Jaycox, Lingqi Tang, Naihua Duan, Anne P. LaBorde, Luis R. Zeledon, Martin Anderson, Pamela Murray, Chris Landon, Margaret M. Rea, et al.

OBJECTIVE: Quality improvement programs for depressed youths in primary care settings have been shown to improve 6-month clinical outcomes, but longer-term outcomes are unknown. The authors examined 6-, 12-, and 18-month outcomes of a primary care quality improvement intervention. METHOD: Primary care patients 13-21 years of age with current depressive symptoms were randomly assigned to a 6-month quality improvement intervention (N=211) or to treatment as usual enhanced with provider training (N=207). The quality improvement intervention featured expert leader teams to oversee implementation of the intervention; clinical care managers trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression to support patient evaluation and treatment; and support for patient and provider choice of treatments. RESULTS: The quality improvement intervention, relative to enhanced treatment as usual, lowered the likelihood of severe depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score 24) at 6 months; a similar trend at 18 months was not statistically significant. Path analyses revealed a significant indirect intervention effect on long-term depression due to the initial intervention improvement at 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: In this randomized effectiveness trial of a primary care quality improvement intervention for depressed youths, the main effect of the intervention on outcomes was to decrease the likelihood of severe depression at the 6-month outcome assessment. These early intervention-related improvements conferred additional long-term protection through a favorable shift in illness course through 12 and 18 months

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