Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 331–341

Depression Diagnosis and Antidepressant Treatment among Depressed VA Primary Care Patients

Authors

    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care System
    • Department of Health ServicesUniversity of Washington
  • Duncan G. Campbell
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care System
    • Department of Health ServicesUniversity of Washington
  • Edmund F. Chaney
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care System
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington
  • Yu-Fang Li
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care System
    • Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health SystemsUniversity of Washington
  • Mary McDonell
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care System
  • Stephan D. Fihn
    • Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care System
    • Department of Health ServicesUniversity of Washington
    • Department of MedicineUniversity of Washington
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10488-006-0043-5

Cite this article as:
Liu, C., Campbell, D.G., Chaney, E.F. et al. Adm Policy Ment Health (2006) 33: 331. doi:10.1007/s10488-006-0043-5

Abstract

This study examined the extent to which 3559 VA primary care patients with depression symptomatology received depression diagnoses and/or antidepressant prescriptions. Symptomatology was classified as mild (13%), moderate (42%) or severe (45%) based on SCL-20 scores. Diagnosis and treatment was related to depression severity and other patient characteristics. Overall, 44% were neither diagnosed nor treated. Only 22% of those neither diagnosed nor treated for depression received treatment for other psychopathology. Depression treatment performance measures dependent on diagnoses and antidepressant prescriptions from administrative databases exclude undiagnosed patients with significant, treatable, symptomatology.

Keywords

Primary care patientsVeteransDepressionAntidepressant treatmentDepression diagnosis

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006