Depression Diagnosis and Antidepressant Treatment among Depressed VA Primary Care Patients

  • Chuan-Fen Liu
  • Duncan G. Campbell
  • Edmund F. Chaney
  • Yu-Fang Li
  • Mary McDonell
  • Stephan D. Fihn
Original Paper


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.


Primary care patients Veterans Depression Antidepressant treatment Depression diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuan-Fen Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Duncan G. Campbell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edmund F. Chaney
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yu-Fang Li
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mary McDonell
    • 1
  • Stephan D. Fihn
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Center of ExcellenceVA Puget Sound Health Care SystemSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health ServicesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health SystemsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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