Translating Evidence-Based Depression Management Services to Community-Based Primary Care Practices


Address correspondence to: Amy M. Kilbourne, VA Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (151-C), University Drive C, Pittsburgh, PA 15240 (e-mail:


Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of using treatment models for major depression in primary care settings. Nonetheless, translating these models into enduring changes in routine primary care has proved difficult. Various health system and organizational barriers prevent the integration of these models into primary care settings. This article discusses barriers to introducing and sustaining evidence-based depression management services in community-based primary care practices and suggests organizational and financial solutions based on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Depression in Primary Care Program. It focuses on strategies to improve depression care in medical settings based on adaptations of the chronic care model and discusses the challenges of implementing evidence-based depression care given the structural, financial, and cultural separation between mental health and general medical care.