Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of computer-based screening and physician feedback to guide adolescent depression management within primary care. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study within two clinics of the computer-based depression screening and physician feedback algorithm among youth aged 12–20 years between October 2014 and October 2015 in Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana. Results: Our sample included 2,038 youth (51% female; 60% black; mean age = 14.6 years [standard deviation = 2.1]). Over 20% of youth screened positive for depression on the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 and 303 youth (14.8%) screened positive on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). The most common follow-up action by physicians was a referral to mental health services (34.2% mild, 46.8% moderate, and 72.2% severe range). Almost 11% of youth in the moderate range and 22.7% of youth in the severe range were already prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. When predicting mental health service referral, significant predictors in the multivariate analysis included clinic site (40.2% vs. 73.9%; p <.0001) and PHQ-9 score (severe range 77.8% vs. mild range 47.5%; p <.01). Similarly, when predicting initiation of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, only clinic site (28.6% vs. 6.9%; p <.01) and PHQ-9 score (severe range 46.7% vs. moderate range 10.6%; p <.001) were significant. Conclusions: When a computer-based decision support system algorithm focused on adolescent depression was implemented in two primary care clinics, a majority of physicians utilized screening results to guide clinical care.
- Primary care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health