Objective: Collaborative chronic care models (CCMs) improve outcome in chronic medical illnesses and depression treated in primary care settings. The effect of such models across other treatment settings and mental health conditions has not been comprehensively assessed. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the comparative effectiveness of CCMs for mental health conditions across disorders and treatment settings.
Method: Randomized controlled trials comparing CCMs with other care conditions, published or in press by August 15, 2011, were identified in a literature search and through contact with investigators. CCMs were defined a priori as interventions with at least three of the six components of the Improving Chronic Illness Care initiative (patient self-management support, clinical information systems, delivery system redesign, decision support, organizational support, and community resource linkages). Articles were included if the CCM effect on mental health symptoms or mental quality of life was reported. Data extraction included analyses of these outcomes plus social role function, physical and overall quality of life, and costs. Meta-analyses included comparisons using unadjusted continuous measures.
Results: Seventy-eight articles yielded 161 analyses from 57 trials (depression, N=40; bipolar disorder, N=4; anxiety disorders, N=3; multiple/other disorders, N=10). The meta-analysis indicated significant effects across disorders and care settings for depression as well as for mental and physical quality of life and social role function (Cohen's d values, 0.20-0.33). Total health care costs did not differ between CCMs and comparison models. A systematic review largely confirmed and extended these findings across conditions and outcome domains.
Conclusions: CCMs can improve mental and physical outcomes for individuals with mental disorders across a wide variety of care settings, and they provide a robust clinical and policy framework for care integration.