The effectiveness of Telepsychiatry-Based culturally sensitive collaborative treatment for depressed Chinese American immigrants: A randomized controlled trial

Albert Yeung, Max A. Martinson, Lee Baer, Justin Chen, Alisabet Clain, Aya Williams, Trina E. Chang, Nhi Ha T. Trinh, Jonathan E. Alpert, Maurizio Fava

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8 Scopus citations


Objective: This study evaluates the effectiveness of a telepsychiatry-based culturally sensitive collaborative treatment (T-CSCT) intervention to improve treatment outcomes for depressed Chinese American immigrants. Methods: Participants were Chinese Americans recruited from primary care settings from February 1, 2009, to July 31, 2012, with DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD) identified by the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Eligible patients were randomized to receive either T-CSCT or treatment as usual (TAU) for 6 months. T-CSCT involves (1) cultural consultation via videoconference and (2) care management. The primary outcome measure was the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS17); positive response was defined as a ≥ 50% decrease in HDRS17 score, and remission was defined as HDRS17 score ≤ 7. Secondary outcome measures were the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity of Illness (CGI-S) and Improvement (CGI-I) scales and the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q). Outcomes were compared using multivariate logistic regression and mixedmodel for repeated measures methods. Results: Among participants (N = 190), 63% were female, and the mean (SD) age was 50 (14.5) years. They were randomized to T-CSCT (n = 97; 51%) or TAU (n = 93; 49%). Using multivariate logistic regression analyses, the odds of achieving response and remission were significantly greater for the T-CSCT group compared to the control group (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9 [95% CI, 1.9 to 7.8] and 4.4 [95% CI, 1.9 to 9.9], respectively). Multivariate general linear model analyses showed that patients in the T-CSCT group had significantly greater improvement over time in HDRS17 (F4,95 = 4.59, P = .002), CGI-S (F4,95 = 4.22, P = .003), and CGI-I (F4,95 = 2.95, P = .02) scores. Conclusions: T-CSCT is effective in improving treatment outcomes of Chinese immigrants with MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e996-e1002
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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