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Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;166(9):1002-10. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08121909. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Long-term benefits of short-term quality improvement interventions for depressed youths in primary care.

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1
Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA School of Medicine, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759. jasarnow@mednet.ucla.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Quality improvement programs for depressed youths in primary care settings have been shown to improve 6-month clinical outcomes, but longer-term outcomes are unknown. The authors examined 6-, 12-, and 18-month outcomes of a primary care quality improvement intervention.

METHOD:

Primary care patients 13-21 years of age with current depressive symptoms were randomly assigned to a 6-month quality improvement intervention (N=211) or to treatment as usual enhanced with provider training (N=207). The quality improvement intervention featured expert leader teams to oversee implementation of the intervention; clinical care managers trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression to support patient evaluation and treatment; and support for patient and provider choice of treatments.

RESULTS:

The quality improvement intervention, relative to enhanced treatment as usual, lowered the likelihood of severe depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score > or =24) at 6 months; a similar trend at 18 months was not statistically significant. Path analyses revealed a significant indirect intervention effect on long-term depression due to the initial intervention improvement at 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this randomized effectiveness trial of a primary care quality improvement intervention for depressed youths, the main effect of the intervention on outcomes was to decrease the likelihood of severe depression at the 6-month outcome assessment. These early intervention-related improvements conferred additional long-term protection through a favorable shift in illness course through 12 and 18 months.

Comment in

PMID:
19651711
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08121909
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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