Short-term educational intervention improves family physicians' knowledge of depression



Introduction: Depression is frequently unrecognized and undertreated. Therefore, there is a need to increase the knowledge and skills of primary care physicians regarding management of depression. The aim of this study was to determine if a brief educational intervention can affect family physicians' knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of depression.

Method: Sixty-eight community-based, nonacademic family physicians completed the program, which was delivered using a mixed lecture-seminar format. Knowledge about depression was assessed pre- and post-program. Paired-sample t test and chi-square test were used to compare test scores.

Results: Although study physicians demonstrated high baseline knowledge of depression, 75% of them had better scores following the program. The increase in knowledge was statistically significant (p < .0001).

Discussion: Our study demonstrates that a simple and brief educational program can enhance family physicians' knowledge of depression; however, an increase in knowledge alone may not necessarily translate into practice behavior change.