A primary care first (PCP-first) model to screen and treat depression: A VitalSign6 report from a second cohort of 32,106 patients

Margaret Z. Wang, Manish K. Jha, Abu Minhajuddin, Ronny Pipes, Sara Levinson, Taryn Mayes, Tracy L Greer, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This report from VitalSign6 project describes treatment selection, follow-up rates and remission outcomes by initial depression severity using the PCP-FIRST model. Methods: This retrospective analysis included 32,106 patients aged ≥12 years screened with the Patient Health Questionnaire 2-item (PHQ-2) from November 2016 to July 2019 across 37 primary care clinics. PHQ-2 positive-screen patients (PHQ-2 ≥ 3) received 9-item PHQ (PHQ-9) and 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scales, clinician assessments, and evaluation for pharmacotherapy management with measurement-based care (MBC). Results: Of PHQ-2 screened patients, 18.7% (5994/32,106) were positive and received a PHQ-9. Of 5994 patients with PHQ-9, 2571 received a clinical diagnosis of depression of whom, 333 had none-mild depression (PHQ-9 < 10) and 2238 had moderate-severe depression (PHQ-9 ≥ 10). Of the 333 patients with none-mild depression and 2238 patients with moderate-severe depression, 266 and 1929 had at least 18 weeks of data available. Of these, 54.9% (146/266) with none-mild depression and 69.1% (1332/1929) with moderate-severe depression were started on pharmacotherapy. Of the 1478 patients with clinical diagnosis of depression, initiated on pharmacotherapy, 1046 returned for ≥1 follow-up and 616 returned for ≥3 follow-ups over 18 weeks. Of the 1046 patients with ≥1 follow-up visit within 18 weeks, remission rates for patients with mild depression, moderate-severe depression, and overall were 55.6% (66/99), 30% (282/941), and 32.4% (338/1040) respectively. Conclusions: Despite this being a real-world, usual care sample, remission outcomes exceed real world remission rate expectations of 6% in primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Depression monitoring, measurement-based care
  • Depression screening
  • Primary care
  • VitalSign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'A primary care first (PCP-first) model to screen and treat depression: A VitalSign6 report from a second cohort of 32,106 patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this