BACKGROUND: Despite improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, primary care provider (PCP) discussion regarding suicidal thoughts among patients with depressive symptoms remains low. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a targeted depression public service announcement (PSA) video or an individually tailored interactive multimedia computer program (IMCP) leads to increased primary care provider (PCP) discussion of suicidal thoughts in patients with elevated risk for clinical depression when compared to an attention control. DESIGN: Randomized control trial at five different healthcare systems in Northern California; two academic, two Veterans Affairs (VA), and one group-model health maintenance organization (HMO). PARTICIPANTS: Eight-hundred sixty-seven participants, with mean age 51.7; 43.9 % women, 43.4 % from a racial/ethnic minority group. INTERVENTION: The PSA was targeted to gender and socio-economic status, and designed to encourage patients to seek depression care or request information regarding depression. The IMCP was an individually tailored interactive health message designed to activate patients to discuss possible depressive symptoms. The attention control was a sleep hygiene video. MAIN MEASURES: Clinician reported discussion of suicidal thoughts. Analyses were stratified by depressive symptom level (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9] score<9 [mild or lower] versus ≥ 10 10 [at least moderate]). KEY RESULTS: Among patients with a PHQ-9 score ≥ 10, PCP discussion of suicidal thoughts was significantly higher in the IMCP group than in the control group (adjusted odds ratio=2.33, 95 % confidence interval=1.5, 5.10, p=0.03). There were no significant effects of either intervention on PCP discussion of suicidal thoughts among patients with a PHQ-9 score<9. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure of patients with at least moderate depressive symptoms to an individually tailored intervention designed to increase patient engagement in depression care led to increased PCP discussion of suicidal thoughts.
- patient-physician communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine