Remote collaborative care for depression

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry looks at the remote provision of mental health care in rural health centres. These centres cannot support a practice-based mental health team and so depressed patients usually depend upon the local doctor and nurse to deliver evidence-based treatment. This compares to larger centres, where on-site mental health practitioners can provide collaborative care.

In this study 364 patients who screened positive for depression were allocated to either solely centre-based care or to receiving additional collaborative care delivered remotely by an off-site team. Follow up at 6, 12 and 18 months showed that the latter group experienced significantly better outcomes.

Medscape carries a short discussion of the study.