Patients' depression treatment preferences and initiation, adherence, and outcome: A randomized primary care study

Patrick J. Raue, Herbert C. Schulberg, Moonseong Heo, Sibel Klimstra, Martha L. Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors examined the association of treatment preferences with treatment initiation, adherence, and clinical outcome among nonsenior adult and senior primary care patients with depression. Methods: Sixty primary care participants meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depression were randomly assigned to receive treatment congruent or incongruent with their primary stated preference. Participants received either 20 weeks of escitalopram, with monitoring by a care manager, or 12 weekly sessions of interpersonal psychotherapy followed by two monthly booster sessions. Adherence to treatment and depression severity were reassessed at weeks 4, 8, 12, and 24. Results: Participants expressed stronger preferences for psychotherapy than for antidepressant medication. Preference strength was a more sensitive measure of outcome than was congruence versus incongruence of preference with the assigned treatment. Across age groups, preference strength was significantly associated with treatment initiation and 12-week adherence rate but not with depression severity or remission. Conclusions: A continuous measure of preference strength may be a more useful measure in clinical practice than preferences per se. Future research should focus on whether and how greater facilitation of the treatment decision-making process between patient and clinician influences clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-343
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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