Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 15, Issue 12, pp 868–877

Quality improvement for depression enhances long-term treatment knowledge for primary care clinicians

  • Lisa S. Meredith
  • Maga Jackson-Triche
  • Naihua Duan
  • Lisa V. Rubenstein
  • Patti Camp
  • Kenneth B. Wells
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1046/j.1525-1497.2000.91149.x

Cite this article as:
Meredith, L.S., Jackson-Triche, M., Duan, N. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2000) 15: 868. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2000.91149.x

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the effect of implementing quality improvement (QI) programs for depression, relative to usual care, on primary care clinicians’ knowledge about treatment.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Matched primary care clinics (46) from seven managed care organizations were randomized to usual care (mailed written guidelines only) versus one of two QI interventions. Self-report surveys assessed clinicians’ knowledge of depression treatments prior to full implementation (June 1996 to March 1997) and 18 months later. We used an intent-to-treat analysis to examine intervention effects on change in knowledge, controlling for clinician and practice characteristics, and the nested design.

PARTICIPANTS: One hundred eighty-one primary care clinicians.

INTERVENTIONS: The interventions included institutional commitment to QI, training local experts, clinician education, and training nurses for patient assessment and education. One intervention had resources for nurse follow-up on medication use (QI-meds) and the other had reduced copayment for therapy from trained, local therapists (QI-therapy).

RESULTS: Clinicians in the intervention group had greater increases compared with clinicians in the usual care group over 18 months in knowledge of psychotherapy (by 20% for QI-meds, P=.04 and by 33% for QI-therapy, P=.004), but there were no significant increases in medication knowledge. Significant increases in knowledge scores (P=.01) were demonstrated by QI-therapy clinicians but not clinicians in the QI-meds group. Clinicians were exposed to multiple intervention components.

CONCLUSIONS: Dissemination of QI programs for depression in managed, primary care practices improved clinicians’ treatment knowledge over 18 months, but breadth of learning was somewhat greater for a program that also included active collaboration with local therapists.

Key words

primary care clinicians depression quality improvement treatment knowledge managed care 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa S. Meredith
    • 1
  • Maga Jackson-Triche
    • 2
    • 3
  • Naihua Duan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lisa V. Rubenstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patti Camp
    • 1
  • Kenneth B. Wells
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.RAND Health ProgramSanta Monica
  2. 2.Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare SystemSepulveda
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUniversity of California, Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, University of California, Los Angeles School of MedicineLos Angeles

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