Author(s): Wolf NJ, Hopko DR
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Abstract Primary care settings are the principal context for treating clinical depression, with researchers beginning to explore the efficacy of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for depression within this infrastructure. Feasibility and process variables also are being assessed, including issues of cost-effectiveness, viability of collaborative care models, predictors of treatment outcome, and effectiveness of treatment providers without specialized mental health training. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and American Psychiatric Association initially released guidelines for the treatment of depression in primary care [American Psychiatric Association, 1993. Practice Guidelines for major depressive disorder in adults. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 1-26., American Psychiatric Association, 2000. Practice Guideline for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder (revision). American Journal of Psychiatry, 157, 1-45], however, a vast literature has accumulated over the past several years, calling for a systematic re-evaluation of the status of depression treatment in primary care. The present study provides a contemporary review of outcome data for psychosocial and pharmacological interventions in primary care and extends beyond AHCPR guidelines insofar as focusing on feasibility and process variables, including the training and proficiency of primary care treatment providers, cost-effectiveness of primary care interventions, and predictors of treatment response and relapse. Based on current guidelines, problem-solving therapy (PST-PC), interpersonal psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy would be considered efficacious interventions for major depression, with cognitive-behavioral and cognitive therapy considered possibly efficacious. Psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy generally are of comparable efficacy, and both modalities are superior to usual care in treating depression. Methodological limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
This article was published in Clin Psychol Rev
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