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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2011;155:A2360.

[Appropriate care for anxiety and depression].

[Article in Dutch]

Author information

  • 1Nederlands instituut voor onderzoek van de gezondheidszorg (NIVEL), Utrecht, The Netherlands.



To evaluate care received for anxiety and depression, to identify which patient-, GP- and practice factors obstruct delivery of care in accordance with Dutch College of General Practitioners' (NHG) practice guidelines, and to evaluate the costs and effects of guideline-concordant care.


Descriptive study.


During the baseline assessment of the Netherlands study of depression and anxiety--which has followed a large number of adults with and without psychiatric complaints since 2004--various questionnaires and diagnostic interviews were completed. At one year follow-up, the severity of symptoms of anxiety and depression, overall functioning or dysfunction, healthcare use and absenteeism from employment over the past year were assessed. Data from electronic medical patient records were studied to determine whether NHG practice guidelines had been followed.


Of the 721 patients with an anxiety or depressive disorder, 57% (n = 413) indicated receiving some form of care; two-thirds of this group received appropriate care according to NHG practice guidelines (n = 281). At patient level the severity of depressive symptoms, the self-evaluated need for care, a high level of education and accessibility of care were most strongly associated with guideline adherence; at general practitioner level, collaboration with other mental health professionals was most strongly associated with guideline adherence. On average, all patients had symptoms that were less serious than a year previously, irrespective of which care they had received. Guideline-concordant care was significantly more expensive.


Half of the patients who had not received care did not think that they needed it. Of those who had received care, those with more severe symptoms and greatest need for care were most likely to have received guideline-concordant care. Both patients and general practitioners seemed well able to assess whether care was needed or not.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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