Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 741–748 | Cite as

Long-term effects of a collaborative care intervention in persistently depressed primary care patients

  • Wayne KatonEmail author
  • Joan Russo
  • Michael Von Korff
  • Elizabeth Lin
  • Greg Simon
  • Terry Bush
  • Evette Ludman
  • Edward Walker
Original Articles


OBJECTIVE: A previous study described the effect of a collaborative care intervention on improving adherence to antidepressant medications and depressive and functional outcomes of patients with persistent depressive symptoms 8 weeks after the primary care physician initiated treatment. This paper examined the 28-month effect of this intervention on adherence, depressive symptoms, functioning, and health care costs.

DESIGN: Randomized trial of stepped collaborative care intervention versus usual care.

SETTING: HMO in Seattle, Wash.

PATIENTS: Patients with major depression were stratified into severe and moderate depression groups prior to randomization.

INTERVENTIONS: A multifaceted intervention targeting patient, physician, and process of care, using collaborative management by a psychiatrist and a primary care physician.

MEASURES AND MAIN RESULTS: The collaborative care intervention was associated with continued improvement in depressive symptoms at 28 months in patients in the moderate-severity group (F1,87=8.65; P=.004), but not in patients in the high-severity group (F1,51=0.02; P=.88) Improvements in the intervention group in antidepressant adherence were found to occur for the first 6 months (χ2(1)=8.23; P<.01) and second 6-month period (χ2(1)=5.98; P<.05) after randomization in the high-severity group and for 6 months after randomization in the moderate-severity group(χ2(1)=6.10; P<.05). There were no significant differences in total ambulatory costs between intervention and control patients over the 28-month period (F1,180=0.77; P=.40).

CONCLUSIONS: A collaborative care intervention was associated with sustained improvement in depressive outcomes without additional health care costs in approximately two thirds of primary care patients with persistent depressive symptoms.

Key words

depression primary care collaborative care 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne Katon
    • 2
    Email author
  • Joan Russo
    • 2
  • Michael Von Korff
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Lin
    • 1
  • Greg Simon
    • 1
  • Terry Bush
    • 1
  • Evette Ludman
    • 1
  • Edward Walker
    • 2
  1. 1.the Center for Health StudiesGroup Health CooperativeSeattle
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Washington Medical SchoolSeattle

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