Major depression in primary care practice. Clinical characteristics and treatment implications

Psychosomatics. 1995 Mar-Apr;36(2):129-37. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(95)71682-6.


Major depression is thought to be underdiagnosed and undertreated in primary medical care facilities. The authors conducted a clinical trial that included a three-phase assessment so only ambulatory medical patients judged eligible for treatment of this disorder in medical settings were recruited. In addition to administering the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule's (DIS) Depression section, the psychiatrists evaluated the DIS-positive patients. This third assessment determined that clinical characteristics of DIS-positive patients were such that 70% of the patients could be treated for major depression in a primary care setting, 13% should probably be referred to a mental health facility, and 17% were experiencing conditions other than major depression.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Nortriptyline / therapeutic use
  • Personality Assessment
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotherapy


  • Nortriptyline