Collaborative depression care management and disparities in depression treatment and outcomes

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Jun;68(6):627-36. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.55.


Context: Collaborative depression care management (DCM), by addressing barriers disproportionately affecting patients of racial/ethnic minority and low education, may reduce disparities in depression treatment and outcomes.

Objective: To examine the effects of DCM on treatment disparities by education and race/ethnicity in older depressed primary care patients.

Design: Analysis of data from the randomized controlled trial Prevention of Suicide in Primary Care Elderly: Collaborative Trial (PROSPECT).

Setting: Twenty primary care practices.

Participants: A total of 396 individuals 60 years or older with major depression. We conducted model-based analysis to estimate potentially differential intervention effects by education, independent of those by race/ethnicity (and vice versa).

Intervention: Algorithm-based recommendations to physicians and care management by care managers.

Main outcome measures: Antidepressant use, depressive symptoms, and intensity of DCM over 2 years.

Results: The PROSPECT intervention had a larger and more lasting effect in less-educated patients. At month 12, the intervention increased the rate of adequate antidepressant use by 14.2 percentage points (pps) (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 26.4 pps) in the no-college group compared with a null effect in the college-educated group (-9.2 pps [95% CI, -25.0 to 2.7 pps]); at month 24, the intervention reduced depressive symptoms by 2.6 pps on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (95% CI, -4.6 to -0.4 pps) in no-college patients, 3.8 pps (95% CI, -6.8 to -0.4) more than in the college group. The intervention benefitted non-Hispanic white patients more than minority patients. Intensity of DCM received by minorities was 60% to 70% of that received by white patients after the initial phase but did not differ by education.

Conclusions: The PROSPECT intervention substantially reduced disparities by patient education but did not mitigate racial/ethnic disparities in depression treatment and outcomes. Incorporation of culturally tailored strategies in DCM models may be needed to extend their benefits to minorities.

Trial registration: Identifier for

Prospect: NCT00279682.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / ethnology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Healthcare Disparities* / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents

Associated data