The American Psychiatric Association publishes a weekly online newsletter about integrated care, “Integrated Care News Notes.” The Dec. 9 issue includes a summary of an interesting study, “Reduction of Patient-Reported Antidepressant Side Effects, by Type of Collaborative Care.”
This study compared the outcomes for two groups of patients receiving treatment for medication in primary care settings: one groups received standard “evidence-based” care from a PMP team in on office setting, and the other group received a a combination of the office care and “telemedicine-based collaborative care,” with telephone interviews that helped the patients with their medication side effects. The telephone portion of the latter treatment protocol was provided by pharmacists, psychologists and psychiatrists. The study found that the latter group had significantly fewer side effects at six and twelve months into the study.
My take: this study supports having psychologists and other behavioral professionals involved in the treatment of depression in primary care settings to help patients manage medication side effects. Behavioral professionals can often spend more time with the patient, can develop a higher level of rapport, can encourage patients to ventilate their concerns about medication, can offer information about adjunctive (to medication) behavioral treatments, and more. They can generally add value to the treatment of depression in the primary care setting,