Objective: This study describes physicians' satisfaction with care for patients with depression before and after the implementation of a primary care-based collaborative care program.
Method: Project Improving Mood, Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment for late-life depression (IMPACT) is a multisite, randomized controlled trial comparing a primary care-based collaborative disease management program for late-life depression with care as usual. A total of 450 primary care physicians at 18 participating clinics participated in a satisfaction survey before and 12 months after IMPACT initiation. The preintervention survey focused on physicians' satisfaction with current mental health resources and ability to provide depression care. The postintervention survey repeated these and added questions about physician's experience with the IMPACT collaborative care model.
Results: Before intervention, about half (54%) of the participating physicians were satisfied with resources to treat patients with depression. After intervention, more than 90% reported the intervention as helpful in treating patients with depression and 82% felt that the intervention improved patients' clinical outcomes. Participating physicians identified proactive patient follow-up and patient education as the most helpful components of the IMPACT model.
Conclusions: Physicians perceived a substantial need for improving depression treatment in primary care. They were very satisfied with the IMPACT collaborative care model for treating depressed older adults and felt that similar care management models would also be helpful for treating other chronic medical illnesses.