Long-term effectiveness of disseminating quality improvement for depression in primary care Article

Sherbourne, CD, Wells, KB, Duan, N et al. (2001). Long-term effectiveness of disseminating quality improvement for depression in primary care . ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY, 58(7), 696-703. 10.1001/archpsyc.58.7.696

cited authors

  • Sherbourne, CD; Wells, KB; Duan, N; Miranda, J; Un├╝tzer, J; Jaycox, L; Schoenbaum, M; Meredith, LS; Rubenstein, LV



  • Background: This article addresses whether dissemination of short-term quality improvement (QI) interventions for depression to primary care practices improves patients' clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) over 2 years, relative to usual care (UC). Methods: The sample included 1299 patients with current depressive symptoms and 12-month, lifetime, or no depressive disorder from 46 primary care practices in 6 managed care organizations. Clinics were randomized to UC or 1 of 2 QI programs that included training local experts and nurse specialists to provide clinician and patient education, assessment, and treatment planning, plus either nurse care managers for medication follow-up (QI-meds) or access to trained psychotherapists (QI-therapy). Outcomes were assessed every 6 months for 2 years. Results: For most outcomes, differences between intervention and UC patients were not sustained for the full 2 years. However, QI-therapy reduced overall poor outcomes compared with UC by about 8 percentage points throughout 2 years, and by 10 percentage points compared with QI-meds at 24 months. Both interventions improved patients' clinical and role outcomes, relative to UC, over 12 months (eg, a 10-11 and 6-7 percentage point difference in probable depression at 6 and 12 months, respectively). Conclusions: While most outcome improvements were not sustained over the full 2 study years, findings suggest that flexible dissemination of short-term, QI programs in managed primary care can improve patient outcomes well after program termination. Models that support integrated psychotherapy and medication-based treatment strategies in primary care have the potential for relatively long-term patient benefits.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 696

end page

  • 703


  • 58


  • 7