Diagnosis and treatment of depression in primary medical care practice: the application of research findings to clinical practice

J Clin Psychol. 1998 Apr;54(3):303-14. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4679(199804)54:3<303::aid-jclp2>3.0.co;2-q.


Approximately 50% of persons experiencing clinical depression seek help for this disorder from their primary care physician. This pattern of help-seeking has stimulated interest in providing appropriate treatment for depressed primary medical care patients. While the efficacy of both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for depression have been demonstrated in the mental health specialty sector, current research endeavors to establish the effectiveness of such treatments when provided to primary medical care patients. We review and discuss the clinical, practical, and methodological issues pertaining to the transfer of depression research to routine primary care practice. Possible directions for future research which will inform the continued applicability of research findings to routine practice are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Research / trends*