Improved care needed for people with depression

October 25, 2001

Editorial: Improving outcomes in depression: the whole process of care needs to be enhanced BMJ Volume 323, pp 948-9

Around 450 million people worldwide have mental or psychosocial problems, but up to a quarter of those who turn to health services for help will not be correctly diagnosed and will not, therefore, get the right treatment.

The whole process of care for people with major depression must be enhanced if we are to improve the lives of these patients, argue Michael Von Korff and David Goldberg in this week's BMJ. Research shows that enhanced care reduces symptoms and disability, that it is more cost-effective than usual care, and that the costs of improving care are modest per case treated.

Yet change is hard work for overtaxed health care teams, and many might be tempted to adopt quick and easy quality improvement strategies that do not usually work, they write.

Instead, the evidence suggests that efforts to improve the primary care of major depression should focus on low cost case management together with a fluid and accessible working relationship among the primary care doctor, the case manager, and a mental health specialist. This model allows most depressed patients to access effective treatment in primary care, while the minority needing ongoing specialist care can be identified and referred more reliably.

Enhanced care for people with depression will go a long way towards improving the lives of these patients, they say. But the large gap in the quality of care cannot be closed only by the increased efforts of individual practitioners who are already overburdened, with many frustrated and demoralised.

The question now is whether insurers and organisations that provide patient care will act on the scientific evidence to benefit the millions of people worldwide who are afflicted by major depression, they conclude.
-end-


BMJ

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.