Improving Detection and Management of Depression in Primary Care

Client: Gouverneur Healthcare Services
Faculty: SJ Avery and Michael Mcgarvey
Team: Jaime Kaplan, Teddy Norman, Jayashree Raghunath, Julia Richardson, Danette Slevinski, Rachel Zinaman
Year: 2006
Depression is a serious medical illness that is pervasive throughout our population. It is evident that if depression is left undetected and/or untreated, an increasing disease burden will manifest, resulting in serious adverse health outcomes. The Capstone team was asked to explore effective ways of improving depression screening, diagnosis and treatment in primary care at Gouverneur, with specific attention to the non-English speaking, ethnically diverse patients - 45 percent Latinos and 35 percent Asians. The team conducted secondary research to identify prevalence, cultural and language barriers, and clinical practices and tendencies given the patient mix. Interviews and focus groups were also conducted with various members of the medical team at Gouverneur and other well-informed healthcare professionals. The Capstone team familiarized themselves with several best practices models to understand how other organizations succeed at fostering an environment fully supportive of depression screening in primary care. Building on their research, they offered systemic recommendations to improve the diagnostic depression care and treatment in primary care at Gouverneur.