Date: 07 Oct 2005

Challenges of Implementing Depression Care Management in the Primary Care Setting

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Empirical evidence shows that care management is an effective tool for improving depression treatment in primary care patients. However, several conceptual and practical issues have not been sufficiently addressed. This article explores questions concerning the scope of care management services within the chronic illness care model; optimal ways to identify depressed patients in the primary care setting; responsibilities and desirable qualifications of depression care managers; the location and manner in which care managers interact with patients; costs of services provided by care managers; and the level of supervision by mental health specialists that is necessary to ensure quality care.