A primary care depression intervention is more effective for patients with predominantly psychological versus physical symptoms, according to this group-randomized trial involving 200 patients.

A two-year ongoing intervention for patients who complained of psychological symptoms improved clinical outcomes while reducing outpatient costs by $980 per patient.

In contrast, a two-year ongoing intervention for patients who complained exclusively of physical symptoms failed to improve clinical outcomes beyond usual care, while increasing outpatient costs by $1,378 per patient over two years.

The findings suggest a need for developing new intervention approaches for depressed patients who complain of physical symptoms.

RTC of a Care Manager Intervention for Major Depression in Primary Care: 2-Year Costs for Patients with Physical vs Psychological Symptoms By L. Miriam Dickson, Ph.D., et al

Angela Lower - alower@aafp.org American Academy of Family Physicians

January/February Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet

Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed research journal that provides a cross-disciplinary forum for new, evidence-based information affecting the primary care discipline. Launched in May 2003, the journal is sponsored by six family medical organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Board of Family Practice, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Practice Residency Directors and the North American Primary Care Research Group. The journal is published six times each year and contains original research from the clinical, biomedical, social and health services areas, as well as contributions on methodology and theory, selected reviews, essays and editorials. A board of directors with representatives from each of the sponsoring organizations oversees Annals. Complete editorial content and interactive discussion groups can be accessed free of charge on the journal's Web site, American Academy of Family Physicians.

Reprinted with permission from http://www.medicalnews.com January 26, 2005