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May 7, 1997

Caring for Depression: A RAND Study

Author Affiliations

Seattle, Wash

JAMA. 1997;277(17):1412. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540410090043

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Caring for depression is a demanding and complex task. Caring for Depression is a summary of one of the most ambitious studies of depression management yet completed. It entailed a diverse environment, with large numbers of patients and providers and with an integrated multidisciplinary approach to assessing diagnosis and treatment.

The study occurred in three sites in the United States almost a decade ago and measured diagnosis, medication and counseling use, outcomes, cost, and cost-effectiveness of care. Care by primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other counselors was evaluated. Comorbidity with the most common medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes type I and II, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, arthritis, and chronic pulmonary disease) was studied as part of the larger Medical Outcomes Study (MOS).

Numerous foundations supported the research, including RAND. The coauthors are all RAND staff scientists and represent the disciplines of psychiatry, economics, medical sociology, and social psychology.