Background: Depression is undertreated in primary care settings. Little research investigates the impact of patient involvement in decisions on guideline-concordant treatment and depression outcomes.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether patient involvement in decision-making is associated with guideline-concordant care and improvement in depression symptoms.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: Multisite, nationwide randomized clinical trial of quality improvement strategies for depression in primary care.
Subjects: Primary care patients with current symptoms and probable depressive disorder.
Measurements: Patients rated their involvement in decision-making (IDM) about their care on a 5-point scale from poor to excellent 6 months after entry into the study. Depressive symptoms were measured every 6 months for 2 years using a modified version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. We examined probabilities (Pr) of receipt of guideline-concordant care and resolution of depression across IDM groups using multivariate logistic regression models controlling for patient and provider factors.
Results: For each 1-point increase in IDM ratings, the probability of patients' report of receiving guideline-concordant care increased 4% to 5% (adjusted Pr 0.31 vs. 0.50 for the lowest and highest IDM ratings, respectively, P < 0.001). Similarly, for each 1-point increase in IDM ratings, the probability of depression resolution increased 2% to 3% (adjusted Pr 0.10 vs. 0.19 for the lowest and highest IDM ratings respectively, P = 0.004).
Conclusions: Depressed patients with higher ratings of involvement in medical decisions have a higher probability of receiving guideline-concordant care and improving their symptoms over an 18-month period. Interventions to increase patient involvement in decision-making may be an important means of improving care for and outcomes of depression.