Using Stakeholder Input to Inform an Innovative Research and Policy Initiative to Improve Depression in Safety Net Communities

Published in: Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, Volume 11, no. 1 (Spring 2017), pages 93-98. Project MUSE, doi: 10.1353/cpr.2017.0012

by Dmitry Khodyakov, Pluscedia Williams, Elizabeth Bromley, Bowen Chung, Kenneth B. Wells

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The Problem

Depression quality improvement (QI) programs based on chronic disease management models have been shown to improve depression outcomes. Nonetheless, access to and the use of such programs is limited in minority, under-resourced communities.


We report on the outcomes of a Delphi-based consensus exercise conducted by our partnership at a community-wide conference in Los Angeles. Participants identified and prioritized the needs of depressed individuals that should be addressed in a county-wide Health Neighborhood Initiative (HNI) designed to increase existing mental health, substance use, health care, and social services for individuals with low socioeconomic position (SEP).

Lessons Learned

Participants agreed that housing is the number one priority. Delphi results also illustrate the importance of addressing social, spiritual, and health care access needs of depressed individuals.


Our study shows how to systematically engage community-based organizations, patients, families, and community members in the process of improving the design of community-wide health policy initiatives.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

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