Nearly half of patients with depression in primary care practices who received treatment remained depressed after 18 and 24 months, according to a study published in the March-April issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.
The study examined demographic and clinical characteristics of depressed primary care patients whose treatment met at least minimal standards of evidence-based care, looking at long-term outcomes of those who remained depressed vs. those who recovered. Of the 1,248 patients with follow-up data in the study, 542 received at least minimally appropriate treatment (of these, 442 received courses of minimally appropriate treatment for two of three six-month periods).
The study found that 261 of these patients remained depressed at 18-and 24-month follow-up.
Patients with persistent depression appeared to be receiving more aggressive treatments than their counterparts who recovered, said researchers with the organization RAND. The researchers found that 39 of the 261 depressed patients (15 percent) received both appropriate medications and more than four sessions of counseling, compared to only 9 recovered patients (3 percent) who received the same level of service.
The study, "Characteristics, Treatment Patterns, and Outcomes of Persistent …