More than 19 million Americans suffer
from depression, and of those who seek help, more than half turn to
their primary-care provider.
Research shows, however, that
primary-care physicians fail to recognize depression in nearly half
their patients, and they fail to provide adequate treatment for more
than two-thirds of their diagnosed patients.
UC researchers hope to change that by
studying depression in primary-care settings, courtesy of a $621,675,
three-year grant awarded to the College of Nursing from the National
Institute of Mental Health.
Over the past 20 years, says Seong-yi
Baik, PhD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing, efforts have
been made to increase the ability of primary-care physicians to
recognize and manage depression. Recent research has shown, however,
that improvements don't have a lasting effect, probably because data
was gathered on variables that influence depression care, without
really understanding how those variables actually affect everyday
"What's different about our study is that
we'll attempt to understand depression care from the perspective of
primary-care physicians and their patients," explains Dr. Baik. "We
believe systematic changes are more sustainable when they make sense to
"I hope we'll learn how depression is
actually treated in primary-care practices. This will help us tailor
interventions that make sense to physicians."
"This kind of grant is a perfect example
of one of our goals at UC--helping the community through our research,"
says College of Nursing dean Andrea Lindell, DNSc. "Recognition and
management of depression is a critical need, and this research is a
first step in designing quality improvement interventions that are
feasible and sustainable in primary-care practice."
Dr. Baik and her interdisciplinary
research team, which includes co-investigators Jeffrey Susman, MD,
chair of family medicine, C. Jeffrey Jacobson Jr., PhD, family
medicine, and Jean Anthony, PhD, College of Nursing, will study about
70 providers (general internists, family physicians and nurse
practitioners) in 40-45 practices throughout Greater Cincinnati and