Strategies to improve the management of depression in primary care

Prim Care. 2012 Jun;39(2):415-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2012.03.010.


Effective management of depression in the primary care setting requires a systematic, population-based approach, which entails systematic case finding and diagnosis, patient engagement and education, use of evidence-based treatments, including medications and/or psychotherapy, close follow-up to ensure patients are improving, and a commitment to adjust treatments or consult with mental health specialists until depression is significantly improved. Programs in which primary care providers and mental health specialists collaborate effectively using principles of measurement-based stepped care and treatment to target can substantially improve patients' health and functioning while reducing overall health care costs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Disease Management*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Primary Health Care / methods*


  • Antidepressive Agents