4 years ago

Initial and Follow-Up Evaluations of Integrated Psychological Services for Anxiety and Depression in a Safety Net Primary Care Clinic

Stephen M. Auerbach, Bruce Rybarczyk, Elizabeth Sadock, Renée M. Grinnell, Paul B. Perrin
Objective Despite the recognized importance of integrated behavioral health, particularly in safety net primary care, its effectiveness in real world settings has not been extensively evaluated. This article presents 2 successive studies examining the effectiveness of integrated behavioral care in a safety net setting. Method Study 1 compared the depression and anxiety scores of predominately low-income and minority patients who underwent brief interventions (N = 147) to those of patients from a demographically similar comparison clinic without integrated psychological services, matched on baseline levels of anxiety and depression and length of time between assessments (N = 139). Study 2 did not include a control group but served as a long-term follow-up assessment of anxiety and depression for a subset of 47 patients who finished treatment and could be reached by telephone within 6–18 months of their last session. Results Study 1 found that patients from the clinic with integrated psychology services experienced greater decreases in depression and anxiety scores than patients in the control clinic. These effects did not differ as a function of age, gender, or race. Study 2 found that patients continued to decline in depression and anxiety over time, with lower scores at the last session and even lower scores after longer-term follow-up ranging from 6 to18 months. These improvements remained significant when controlling for other interim mental health treatments. Conclusion These results support the short- and long-term treatment effects of brief primary care behavioral interventions, further strengthening the case for integrated behavioral healthcare in safety net settings.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22459

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