Can PCPs Cut Depression in Patients?

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An intervention based on personal predictors of risk for depression implemented by PCPs provides a modest reduction in the incidence of major depression compared to usual care.
An intervention based on personal predictors of risk for depression implemented by PCPs provides a modest reduction in the incidence of major depression compared to usual care.

HealthDay News -- An intervention based on personal predictors of risk for depression implemented by primary care physicians (PCPs) provides a modest reduction in the incidence of major depression compared to usual care, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Juan Ángel Bellón, MD, PhD, from Unidad de Investigación in Málaga, Spain, and colleagues randomly assigned primary care centers in Spain to usual care or individual communication of risk for depression and a psychosocial program for tailored depression prevention. Two PCPs and 5236 non-depressed adult patients were randomly sampled from each of the 70 centers.

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The researchers found that after 18 months, 7.39% of patients in the intervention group developed major depression versus 9.40% in the usual care group (absolute difference, −2.01 percentage points; P = 0.070). Overall, depression incidence was lower in the intervention centers in 5 cities and similar between intervention and control centers in 2 cities.

"Compared with usual care, an intervention based on personal predictors of risk for depression implemented by PCPs provided a modest but nonsignificant reduction in the incidence of major depression," the authors wrote. "Additional study of this approach may be warranted."

Reference

Bellón J, Conejo-Cerón S, Moreno-Peral P, et al. Intervention to Prevent Major Depression in Primary Care. ‎Ann. Intern. Med. 2016. doi:10.7326/m14-2653.

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