Visits for Depression to Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners in the USA
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Major depression is a major public health problem. In 2015, approximately 16 million US adults experienced a major depressive episode.1 Depression adversely affects physical health2 and functioning.3,4 The disease is recognized globally as a leading cause of disability.5 Available research has shown that existing pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy treatments can effectively treat symptoms for many adults with depression.6,7 However, a large proportion of adults are undertreated8 or overtreated9 for depression. Moreover, racial and ethnic disparities in the undertreatment of depression persist.10,11 One strategy for improving the quality and equity of depression care is by ensuring access to a consistent source of care for individuals with depression. Having a usual source of care is associated with an increased likelihood of receiving adequate depression treatment12 and timely preventive services.13A worsening physician shortage, coupled with the increased demand for...
We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Lisa E. Rein, MS, Aniko Szabo, PhD, and Tom Chelius, MS, for their assistance with the statistical analyses for earlier versions of this paper.
Work was conducted at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.
The project described was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Program. Abiola O. Keller received support from the NIH Loan Repayment Program for Health Disparities Research (LRP-HDR) (grant number L60 MD008863; PI: A. Keller). Additional support was provided by the National Centers for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through grant number UL1TR001436. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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