Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Community Involvement Appears to Boost Depression Care Outcomes

Getting community organizations like churches, substance abuse programs, senior centers, and barber shops involved in planning and carrying out depression care is more effective than just providing technical information to the community groups, according to a study by RAND Corporation psychiatrist Kenneth Wells, M.D. M.P.H., and colleagues. This “Community Engagement and Planning” model was tested against a “Resources for Services” approach in Los Angeles among 1,018 individuals in 90 programs. The community model “improved clients’ mental health, increased physical activity, lowered their risk of becoming homeless, and decreased hospitalizations for behavioral problems,” said Wells in a statement. This approach also reduced medication visits to users of specialty care while increasing depression visits among users of primary care or public health clinicians.

Employment, use of antidepressants, and total health care contacts were not significantly affected, they wrote online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the California Community Foundation.

For more in Psychiatric News about community-based depression care, click here.


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.