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Partners in Care is a real-world trial to determine whether diverse primary care practices can implement previously tested, effective models of care for depression. A collaborative effort of researchers and clinicians at many institutions, the study involves more than 27,000 patients, 125 providers, and 46 primary care clinics within six nonacademic managed care practices in various locations across the United States. The Clinician Guide is intended to increase skills, confidence, and adherence to national guidelines for depression among primary care clinicians. It uses an algorithm-based approach to sort patients into groups requiring different management actions. The algorithm helps clinicians to manage depressed patients efficiently while staying focused on the main therapeutic problems of treating major depression and dysthymia. The Clinician Guide algorithm and accompanying text cover seven assessment and seven management steps. The Guide's text is ordered to follow its algorithm, thus linking information directly to clinical actions. The Clinician Guide is based on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ, formerly AHCPR) depression guidelines, and was evaluated by four members of the AHRQ Guidelines for Depression Panel. It also incorporates comments from the many mental health specialists and primary care clinicians who participated in PIC.

This project was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) and was conducted by RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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