Recent research suggests that the US approach to treating depression could be successfully replicated in the UK, as such NICE is to consider adopting it.
In the UK most patients with depression are treated within primary care, with barriers existing between GPs and specialist mental health services. The US, however, treat depression using a collaborative care method involving the use of care managers who liaise between GPs and mental health specialists. As a result, patients with depression in the US have access to a team of specialists.
Researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School, who carried out the study report that collaborative care led to improvement of depression symptoms immediately after treatment. Furthermore, 15 per cent more patients continued to show signs of improvement after 12 months of collaborative care compared with those who saw their GP.
The study was carried out in response to a plea for evidence from NICE.
NICE will be looking closely at the findings from this study when its depression guideline next comes up for review.
NICE press release