Depression is a significant challenge for ambulatory care because it worsens health status and outcomes, increases health care utilizations and costs, and elevates suicide risk. An automatic telephonic assessment (ATA) system that links with tasks and alerts to providers may improve quality of depression care and increase provider productivity. We used ATA system in a trial to assess and monitor depressive symptoms of 444 safety-net primary care patients with diabetes. We assessed system properties, evaluated preliminary clinical outcomes, and estimated cost savings. The ATA system is feasible, reliable, valid, safe, and likely cost-effective for depression screening and monitoring for low-income primary care population.
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