Clinical improvement associated with conformance to HEDIS-based depression care

Ment Health Serv Res. 2005 Jun;7(2):103-12. doi: 10.1007/s11020-005-3781-1.


Background: Employers recently requested a valid metric of depression treatment quality. Such an indicator needs to measure the proportion of the population in need who receive high-quality care, and to predict clinical improvement.

Methods: We constructed an administrative database indicator derived from HEDIS criteria for antidepressant medication management, and tested it in 230 employed patients in five health plans.

Results: Indicator rates were 7.0% in the population in need. Conformance to indicator criteria in this population was associated with 23.0% improvement in depression severity over 1 year (p = .02).

Conclusions: Administrative database indicators that predict clinical improvement are a very rare accomplishment. Existing depression indicators may need to be calculated for the population in need to provide a valid metric for employer purchasers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Dysthymic Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Dysthymic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Dysthymic Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Benefit Plans, Employee / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*


  • Antidepressive Agents