Depression diagnosis and antidepressant treatment among depressed VA primary care patients

Chuan Fen Liu, Duncan G. Campbell, Edmund F. Chaney, Yu Fang Li, Mary McDonell, Stephan D. Fihn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study examined the extent to which 3559 VA primary care patients with depression symptomatology received depression diagnoses and/or antidepressant prescriptions. Symptomatology was classified as mild (13%), moderate (42%) or severe (45%) based on SCL-20 scores. Diagnosis and treatment was related to depression severity and other patient characteristics. Overall, 44% were neither diagnosed nor treated. Only 22% of those neither diagnosed nor treated for depression received treatment for other psychopathology. Depression treatment performance measures dependent on diagnoses and antidepressant prescriptions from administrative databases exclude undiagnosed patients with significant, treatable, symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Antidepressant treatment
  • Depression
  • Depression diagnosis
  • Primary care patients
  • Veterans


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