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Tailored Intervention by PCPs Slightly Cuts Depression

Prevention strategy tailored to individual risk, implemented in primary care office

doctor with a female patient

TUESDAY, March 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An intervention based on personal predictors of risk for depression implemented by primary care physicians (PCPs) provides a modest reduction in the incidence of major depression compared to usual care, according to a study published online March 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Juan Ángel Bellón, M.D., Ph.D., from Unidad de Investigación in Málaga, Spain, and colleagues randomly assigned primary care centers in Spain to usual care or individual communication of risk for depression and a psychosocial program for tailored depression prevention. Two PCPs and 5,236 non-depressed adult patients were randomly sampled from each of the 70 centers.

The researchers found that after 18 months, 7.39 percent of patients in the intervention group developed major depression versus 9.40 percent in the usual care group (absolute difference, −2.01 percentage points; P = 0.070). Overall, depression incidence was lower in the intervention centers in five cities and similar between intervention and control centers in two cities.

"Compared with usual care, an intervention based on personal predictors of risk for depression implemented by PCPs provided a modest but nonsignificant reduction in the incidence of major depression," the authors write. "Additional study of this approach may be warranted."

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