Implementing a depression improvement intervention in five health care organizations: experience from the RESPECT-Depression trial

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2007 Mar;34(2):127-37. doi: 10.1007/s10488-006-0090-y. Epub 2006 Sep 13.


A growing body of research provides strong evidence for the effectiveness of programs to improve the primary care of depression based on the chronic care model. At the same time these changes are difficult to sustain in their original research settings and more difficult to widely disseminate in primary care practice. The RESPECT-Depression trial tested an implementation and dissemination strategy by working through five community-based health care organizations (HCOs) to implement the Three Component Model (TCM) for improving depression care. This report describes the results of extensive interviews of project principals, health care program managers, depression care managers, and practicing primary care clinicians to understand the characteristics of organizations and the intervention components that were associated with implementation and dissemination of the TCM. In two of the organizations all 29 participating practices continued the TCM, while all 31 practices from the other three organizations did not. Successful continuation and dissemination appeared to be related to a broadly shared vision and commitment among all levels of the organization, clearly articulated by clinical leadership, for pursuing a systematic change strategy to improve chronic care that included, but extended beyond, depression, independent of clear evidence for cost-effectiveness of expanding depression management. Factors associated with inability to sustain the TCM included lack of a shared change strategy throughout the organization and inability to rationalize an economic model of depression care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Depression / therapy*
  • Health Facilities*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • United States