Do Depressed Patients in Different Treatment Settings Have Different Levels of Well-Being and Functioning?

by Anita Stewart, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Kenneth B. Wells, M. Audrey Burnam, William H. Rogers, Ron D. Hays, John E. Ware


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Difficulties in the functioning and well-being of adult patients with current or past depressive disorder who visited clinicians of different specialties in health maintenance organizations, solo practices, or large multispecialty group practices were examined. For patients in different systems, there were no significant differences in functioning and well-being across 12 domains tested. Patients of mental health specialists had worse mental health and more limitations in social activities, whereas patients of medical clinicians had worse physical functioning, more pain, more physical/psychophysiologic symptoms, and worse health perceptions. Thus, each system of care had depressed patients with a similar functioning and well-being "burden" but specialty sectors had patients with slightly different functioning and well-being profiles, probably reflecting patient selection of type of provider.

Originally published in: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v. 61, no. 5, 1993, pp. 849-857.

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