Objective: To assess model impact and opportunities for improvement, this study examined collaborative care model (CoCM) engagement and clinical outcomes among low-income patients from racial-ethnic minority groups with depression and anxiety.
Methods: Starting in 2015, the CoCM was implemented in seven primary care practices of an urban academic medical center serving patients from racial-ethnic minority backgrounds, predominantly Medicaid beneficiaries. Eligible individuals scored positive for depressive or anxiety symptoms (or both) on the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) and PHQ-9 and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-2 (GAD-2) and GAD-7 during systematic screening in primary care settings. Screening rates and yield, patient characteristics, and CoCM engagement and outcomes were examined. Clinical improvement was measured by the difference in PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores at baseline and at 10-to-14-week follow-up.
Results: High rates of screening (87%, N=88,236 of 101,091) and identification of individuals with depression or anxiety (13%, N=11,886) were observed, and 58% of 3,957 patients who engaged in minimally adequate CoCM treatment had significant clinical improvement. Nevertheless, only 56% of eligible patients engaged in the model, and 25% of those individuals did not return for at least one follow-up appointment. Being female with clinically significant comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms and having Medicaid or commercial insurance increased the likelihood of CoCM engagement.
Conclusions: CoCM can help engage vulnerable patients in behavioral health care and improve clinical symptoms. However, significant opportunity exists to advance the model's impact in treating depressive and anxiety disorders and decreasing health disparities by addressing engagement barriers.
Keywords: Anxiety; Collaborative care; Depression; Minority patients; Population health.