Conditions that influence a primary care clinician's decision to refer patients for depression care

Journal article


Anthony, Jean S., Baik, Seong-yi, Bowers, Barbara J., Tidjani, Bassirou, Jacobson, Jeffrey and Susman, Jeffrey. (2010). Conditions that influence a primary care clinician's decision to refer patients for depression care. Rehabilitation Nursing. 35(3), pp. 113-122. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2048-7940.2010.tb00286.x
AuthorsAnthony, Jean S., Baik, Seong-yi, Bowers, Barbara J., Tidjani, Bassirou, Jacobson, Jeffrey and Susman, Jeffrey
Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify conditions that influence primary care clinicians' referral decisions related to depression care. Forty primary care clinicians (15 general internists, 10 nurse practitioners, and 15 family practice physicians) were included in this study. The clinicians participated in semistructured interviews and completed two quantitative instruments (with 33 items on depression treatment decision making and 32 items on provider attitudes toward psychosocial care). Data analysis revealed that several conditions influence a clinician's decision to refer a depressed patient to a mental health specialist: the patient's resources, the clinician's comfort in prescribing antidepressants and counseling patients with depression, and familiarity with a mental health specialist and practice environment. The decision to refer a patient with depression to a mental health specialist is a complex process involving the clinician, patient, and practice‐related issues. Understanding these relationships may provide strategies to improve depression care management and lead to the design of depression care quality‐improvement interventions that accommodate primary care practice context. The findings from this study suggest a need to increase mental health training opportunities for primary care clinicians to strengthen their skills and comfort level in managing depressed patients and encourage the development of relationships between primary care clinicians and mental health specialists to facilitate timely and accessible mental health care for patients.

Keywordsdepression care; primary care clinicians; referral
Year2010
JournalRehabilitation Nursing
Journal citation35 (3), pp. 113-122
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN0278-4807
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2048-7940.2010.tb00286.x
PubMed ID20450020
Scopus EID2-s2.0-77952725762
PubMed Central IDPMC3025607
Open accessPublished as green open access
Page range113-122
FunderNational Institutes of Health (NIH), United States of America
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), United States of America
Author's accepted manuscript
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Open
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
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Online2010
Grant IDR34 MH 071719
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