Context: Few depressed older adults receive effective treatment in primary care settings.
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of the Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment (IMPACT) collaborative care management program for late-life depression.
Design: Randomized controlled trial with recruitment from July 1999 to August 2001.
Setting: Eighteen primary care clinics from 8 health care organizations in 5 states.
Participants: A total of 1801 patients aged 60 years or older with major depression (17%), dysthymic disorder (30%), or both (53%).
Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned to the IMPACT intervention (n = 906) or to usual care (n = 895). Intervention patients had access for up to 12 months to a depression care manager who was supervised by a psychiatrist and a primary care expert and who offered education, care management, and support of antidepressant management by the patient's primary care physician or a brief psychotherapy for depression, Problem Solving Treatment in Primary Care.
Main outcome measures: Assessments at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months for depression, depression treatments, satisfaction with care, functional impairment, and quality of life.
Results: At 12 months, 45% of intervention patients had a 50% or greater reduction in depressive symptoms from baseline compared with 19% of usual care participants (odds ratio [OR], 3.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.71-4.38; P<.001). Intervention patients also experienced greater rates of depression treatment (OR, 2.98; 95% CI, 2.34-3.79; P<.001), more satisfaction with depression care (OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 2.66-4.30; P<.001), lower depression severity (range, 0-4; between-group difference, -0.4; 95% CI, -0.46 to -0.33; P<.001), less functional impairment (range, 0-10; between-group difference, -0.91; 95% CI, -1.19 to -0.64; P<.001), and greater quality of life (range, 0-10; between-group difference, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-0.79; P<.001) than participants assigned to the usual care group.
Conclusion: The IMPACT collaborative care model appears to be feasible and significantly more effective than usual care for depression in a wide range of primary care practices.