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Model Program: Collaborative Care for Treating Late-Life Depression in Primary Care Settings

IMPACT-Improving Mood: Providing Access to Collaborative Treatment for Late Life Depression


To recognize, treat, and prevent future relapses in older patients with major depression in primary care. About 5% -10% of older patients have major depression, yet most are not properly recognized and treated. Untreated depression causes distress, disability, and, most tragically, suicide.


Uses a team approach to deliver depression care to elderly adults in primary care setting. Older adults are given a choice of medication from a primary care physician or psychotherapy with a mental health provider. If they do not improve, their level of care is increased by adding supervision by a mental health specialist.


The intervention, compared to usual care, leads to higher satisfaction with depression treatment, reduced prevalence and severity of symptoms, or complete remission.163

Biggest challenge

To ensure that the intervention is readily adapted from the research setting into the practice setting.

How other organizations can adopt

Be receptive to organizational changes in primary care and devise new methods of reimbursement.


Study sites in California, Texas, Washington, North Carolina, Indiana

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