(HealthDay News) — A collaborative care intervention in primary care is associated with greater improvements in depressive symptoms than usual care among adolescents with depression, according to a study published in the August 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Laura P. Richardson, MD, MPH, from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial to examine whether a collaborative care intervention improves outcomes for adolescents with depression. Adolescents aged 13–17 years who screened positive for depression were recruited and randomized to a 12-month collaborative care intervention (50 adolescents), including an initial in-person engagement session and regular follow-up, or to usual care (51 adolescents).

The researchers observed greater decreases in the Child Depression Rating Scale-Revised in the intervention group, so that by 12 months the mean score was 27.5 in the intervention group compared with 34.6 in control youth (P<0.001). Both groups experienced improvement on the Columbia Impairment Scale score, with no significant between-group difference. Compared with control youth, intervention youth were more likely to achieve depression response (67.6 vs. 38.6 percent; odds ratio, 3.3; P=0.009) and remission (50.4 vs. 20.7%; odds ratio, 3.9; P=0.007) at 12 months.

“These findings suggest that mental health services for adolescents with depression can be integrated into primary care,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical and medical technology industries.

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