Integrated care programs for patients with psychological comorbidity: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Psychosom Res. 2015 Dec;79(6):580-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.07.013. Epub 2015 Aug 8.


Objective: Presently, little is known about the characteristics and impact of integrated care programs for patients with psychological comorbidity. The aim was to provide an overview of these integrated care programs and their effectiveness.

Methods: Systematic literature review including papers published between 1995 and 2014. An integrated care program had to consist of interventions related to at least two out of the six components of the Chronic Care Model. Programs had to address patients with psychological comorbidity, which is a psychological disease next to a somatic chronic disease. A meta-analysis was performed on depression treatment response and a best evidence synthesis was performed on other outcomes.

Results: Ten programs were identified, which mostly addressed comorbid depression and consisted of interventions related to three to five components of the Chronic Care Model. Meta-analysis showed significantly higher odds for depression treatment response for patients receiving integrated care (OR: 2.49, 95%CI [1.66-3.75]). Best evidence synthesis suggested moderate evidence for cost-effectiveness and for a beneficial effect on patient satisfaction and emotional well-being. Insufficient evidence was found for a beneficial effect on health-related quality of life, medication adherence, Hb1Ac levels and mortality.

Conclusion: There are few studies evaluating integrated care programs for patients with psychological comorbidity. Although these studies suggest that integrated care programs could positively affect several patient outcomes and could be cost-effective, additional studies are recommended to further assess the value of integrated care for this patient group. This is especially important since the number of people with psychological comorbidity is rising.

Keywords: Effectiveness; Integrated care; Meta-analysis; Psychological comorbidity; Systematic literature review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome