Does physician education on depression management improve treatment in primary care?

E. H B Lin, G. E. Simon, David J Katzelnick, S. D. Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of physician training on management of depression. DESIGN: Primary care physicians were randomly assigned to a depression management intervention that included an educational program. A before-and-after design evaluated physician practices for patients not enrolled in the intervention trial. SETTING: One hundred nine primary care physicians in 2 health maintenance organizations located in the Midwest and Northwest regions of the United States. PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: Computerized pharmacy and visit data from a group of 124,893 patients who received visits or prescriptions from intervention and usual care physicians. INTERVENTIONS: Primary care physicians received education on diagnosis and optimal management of depression over a 3-month training period. Methods of education included small group interactive discussions, expert demonstrations, role-play, and academic detailing of pharmacotherapy, criteria for urgent psychiatric referrals, and case reviews with psychiatric consultants. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Pharmacy and visit data provided indicators of physician management of depression: rate of newly diagnosed depression, new prescription of antidepressant medication, and duration of pharmacotherapy. One year after the training period, intervention and usual care physicians did not differ significantly in the rate of new depression diagnosis P = .95) or new prescription of antidepressant medicines P = .10). Meanwhile, patients of intervention physicians did not differ from patients of usual care physicians in adequacy of pharmacotherapy P = .53) as measured by 12 weeks of continuous antidepressant treatment. CONCLUSIONS: After education on optimal management of depression, intervention physicians did not differ from their usual care colleagues in depression diagnosis or pharmacotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-619
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Primary Health Care
Physicians
Education
Primary Care Physicians
Antidepressive Agents
Prescriptions
Drug Therapy
Therapeutics
Psychiatry
Health Maintenance Organizations
Consultants
Patient Care
Referral and Consultation

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Physician education
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Does physician education on depression management improve treatment in primary care? / Lin, E. H B; Simon, G. E.; Katzelnick, David J; Pearson, S. D.

In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 16, No. 9, 2001, p. 614-619.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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