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Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Dec 1;175(12):1187-1198. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18040398. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

Improving Depression Outcome by Patient-Centered Medical Management.

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From the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, Singapore; the Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical School, Durham, N.C.; the Department of Psychiatry, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center-Permian Basin, Midland-Odessa; the Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia.


Specific challenges that profoundly affect the outcome of treatment for depression include 1) patient engagement and retention in care and optimization of treatment adherence, 2) optimization of symptom and side effect control by medication adjustments using measurement-based care procedures, 3) restoration of daily functioning and quality of life, and 4) prevention or at least mitigation of symptomatic relapse or recurrence. According to data from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression study, some 10%-15% of patients will not return for treatment after an initial thorough evaluation visit; an additional 20%-35% will not complete the first acute-phase treatment step, and another 20%-50% will not complete 6 months of continuation treatment. Among patients who stay in treatment, over 50% exhibit poor adherence. Thus, most patients do not overcome the first two challenges. There are no systematic, widely agreed-upon psychosocial approaches to any of these four major challenges. The authors propose "patient-centered medical management" to address each of the four challenges, using psychoeducational, behavioral, cognitive, interpersonal, and dynamic models and methods. A renewed emphasis on the development and testing of systematic approaches to overcoming these common clinical challenges could enhance the chances of patient recovery and care system cost efficiencies. [AJP AT 175: Remembering Our Past As We Envision Our Future July 1933: Psychotherapeutics at Stockbridge Horace K. Richardson: "Frequently, in the simpler situations, very few interviews are required in order that he [the patient] discover for himself what part of the adaptive machinery is at fault, and for him to develop a technique of handling the maladjustment on a more satisfactory level in the future." (Am J Psychiatry 1933; 90:45-56 )].


Depression; Medical Management; Psychotherapy; Symptom Control; Treatment Attrition

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