HealthDay News — Real-world collaborative care programs for depression show large variation in clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

Jürgen Unützer, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues used patient-reported outcome data from 11,303 patients receiving collaborative care for depression in 135 primary care clinics to examine variations in depression outcomes.

The researchers found that the average treatment response in this large sample of clinics was substantially lower than response rates reported in randomized controlled trials. Further, there was substantial variation in outcomes observed. Depression outcomes at follow-up were associated with patient factors such as initial depression severity, clinic factors such as the number of years of collaborative care practice, and the degree of implementation support received.

“This is the largest study to date of collaborative care programs for depression in primary care,” Unützer said in a statement. “The differences are huge and it makes a big difference where you get your depression care.”


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