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Use of Depression Education Materials to Improve Treatment Compliance of Primary Care Patients

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In a collaborative effort between a managed behavioral health organization, a health maintenance organization, and a state employer, this pilot study tested the value of mailing a depression education flyer to primary care patients who were recently prescribed antidepressant medications and an informational letter to their physician. The intervention, designed to improve use of behavioral healthcare services and antidepressant medication adherence, had a moderate impact on consistency of antidepressant medication use and on use of psychotherapy in combination with antidepressant medications. Additionally, intervention patients on combination treatment were more likely to stay on antidepressant medications into the continuation phase of treatment.

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    Copies of the Depression Information Flyer are available from the first author upon request.


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The authors would like to acknowledge our collaborating partners Mark D. Aldrich from UBH and Scott Solsman, who at the time of the study was employed by the Benefits Administration Services Office for the State of Ohio. Both of them were essential in the design and implementation of this study. We would also like to thank Joyce McCulloch and Dr. Robert Fusco of UBH for their helpful comments on the manuscript.

Author information

Correspondence to Francisca Azocar PhD.

Additional information

This study was conducted at United Behavioral Health (UBH), 425 Market Street, 27th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.

Rober B. Branstrom, PhD, United Behavioral Health, Behavioral Health Sciences, 425 Market Street, 27th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.

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Azocar, F., Branstrom, R.B. Use of Depression Education Materials to Improve Treatment Compliance of Primary Care Patients. JBHSR 33, 347–353 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-006-9030-6

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  • Behavioral Health
  • Antidepressant Medication
  • Primary Care Patient
  • Behavioral Health Service
  • Continuation Phase