Integrated Care for Depression in Older Primary Care Patients
Community Mental Health Services
For decades, depression in older adults was overlooked and not treated. Most treatment was by primary care providers and typically poorly managed. Recent interventions that integrate mental health services into primary care have increased the number of patients who are treated for depression and the quality of that treatment. The most effective models involve systematic depression screening and monitoring, multidisciplinary teams that include primary care providers and mental health specialists, a depression care manager to work directly with patients over time and the use of guideline-based depression treatment. The article reviews the challenges and opportunities for providing high-quality depression treatment in primary care; describes the 3 major integrated care interventions, PRISM-E, IMPACT, and PROSPECT; reviews the evidence of their effectiveness, and adaptations of the model for other conditions and settings; and explores strategies to increase their scalability into real world practice.