Depression in primary care: Strategies for a psychiatry-scarce environment

Amy R. Alson, Diana M. Robinson, Danielle Ivanova, John Azer, Maria Moreno, Marie Lyse Turk, Abhishek Nitturkar, Karen S. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


More than an algorithm to guide primary care providers through treatment options, integrated care, also called collaborative care, is a validated, systematic, multidisciplinary approach to depression treatment in primary care. Historically, integrated care emerged in response to a mismatch between a growing demand for mental health treatment and scarce mental healthcare resources. Working together, psychiatrists and primary care providers have demonstrated that the principles and tools of chronic disease management improve depression outcomes in primary care. Currently, most antidepressants are prescribed by primary care providers, but with disappointing rates of full, sustained remission. Primary care patients may derive the greatest benefit from existing depression treatment guidelines when they are melded with an approach informed by integrated care principles. This paper will present established guidelines for pharmacologic management of depression as part of a broader framework for depression treatment in the primary care office.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-200
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • depression treatment
  • integrated care
  • major depressive disorder
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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