There have been few comparisons of the effectiveness of collaborative depression care between older versus younger adults with co-morbid illness, particularly among low-income populations.
Intent-to-treat analyses are conducted on pooled data from three randomized controlled trials that tested collaborative care aimed at improving depression, quality of life and treatment receipt.
Trials were conducted in oncology and primary care safety net clinics and diverse home health care programs.
1,081 patients with major depressive symptoms and cancer, diabetes or other co-morbid illness.
Similar intervention protocols included patient, provider, socio-cultural and organizational adaptations.
The PHQ-9 depression, SF-12/20 quality-of-life, self-reported hospitalization, ER, ICU utilization, and antidepressant, psychotherapy treatment receipt are assessed at baseline, 6, 12 months.
There are no significant differences in reducing depression symptoms (P ranged 0.18-0.58), improving quality-of-life (t=1.86, df=669, P=0.07 for physical functioning at 12 months; and P ranged 0.23-0.99 for all others) between patients ≥60 versus 18-59. Both age group intervention patients have significantly higher rates of a 50% PHQ-9 reduction (older: Wald χ2[df=1]=4.82, p=0.03; younger: Wald χ2[df=1]=6.47, p=0.02), greater reduction in major depression rates (older: Wald χ2[df=1]=7.72, p=0.01; younger: Wald χ2[df=1]=4.0, p=0.05) than enhanced-usual-care patients at 6 months, and are no significant age group differences in treatment type or intensity.
Collaborative depression care in individuals with co-morbid illness is as effective in reducing depression in older patients as younger patients, including among low-income, minority patients. Patient, provider, and organizational adaptations of depression care management models may contribute to positive outcomes.