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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004 Feb 15;61(4):364-72.

Randomized trial of pharmacist interventions to improve depression care and outcomes in primary care.

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  • 1Departments of Pharmacy and Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.



The impact of pharmacist interventions on the care and outcomes of patients with depression in a primary care setting was evaluated.


Patients diagnosed with a new episode of depression and started on anti-depressant medications were randomized to enhanced care (EC) or usual care (UC) for one year. EC consisted of a pharmacist collaborating with primary care providers to facilitate patient education, the initiation and adjustment of antidepressant dosages, the monitoring of patient adherence to the regimen, the management of adverse reactions, and the prevention of relapse. The patients in the UC group served as controls. Outcomes were measured by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria for major depression, health-related quality of life, medication adherence, patient satisfaction, and use of depression-related health care services. An intent-to-treat analysis was used.


Seventy-four patients were randomized to EC or UC. At baseline, the EC group included more patients diagnosed with major depression than did the UC group (p = 0.04). All analyses were adjusted for this difference. In both groups, mean scores significantly improved from baseline for symptoms of depression and quality of life at three months and were maintained for one year. There were no statistically significant differences between treatment groups in depression symptoms, quality of life, medication adherence, provider visits, or patient satisfaction.


Frequent telephone contacts and interventions by pharmacists and UC in a primary care setting resulted in similar rates of adherence to antidepressant regimens and improvements in the outcomes of depression at one year.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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