The goal for this review is that 90% of patients diagnosed with depression are appropriately treated (with psychotherapy, medication, referral to psychiatry, or a combination) and follow-up is done according to practice guidelines. (Guidelines were established through the Clinical Practice and Standards Committee.)
After reviewing the data collected during the study, it was determined that there are some ways clinicians could improve the care that is provided to patients diagnosed with depression. Counseling is an important aspect of treating depression. 54% of patients saw a community therapist. Clinicians should be reminded of the importance of discussing and documenting the Black Box Warning associated with SSRI’s. In the college population, the risk of increased suicidality with starting SSRI’s needs to be addressed, along with what to do if these thoughts occur.
Only 64% of clinicians used surveys to diagnose and follow the patients. Utilizing these may reveal symptoms that the clinician may not have asked about, determine the severity of depression, reveal other psychiatric disorders, and help monitor response to medication. Fourteen percent of clinicians documented a plan for follow-up over the break. This is important because symptoms may worsen over this period, and if the clinician is unavailable, the patient may need follow-up elsewhere. Seventy-five percent of patients who were prescribed medication had a follow-up appointment. This is important to assess for side effects and worsening symptoms while on the medication.
- Bethany Beissel, Leader
- Natahsha Gates, Member
- Evan Pattishall, Member