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While there are major efforts developing nationally in developing comprehensive measures of mental health care quality, there remains some disagreement about the optimal measures of quality of care for mental health services. There is agreement about which antidepressant medications and psychological therapies are effective in treating depression and how medications should be prescribed and used for maximum benefit.
Appropriate Antidepressant Medication Treatment
Figure 2.19. Percent of adults diagnosed with depression who are prescribed antidepressant medication and remained on medication, by treatment phase
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Source: National Committee for Quality Assurance, 2003. The sample includes only participating managed care plans and may not be representative of all plans nationally.
Note: The rate is the weighted average of commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid managed care plans. The lowest performing plans are those in the first quartile of the sample; the highest performing plans are those in the fourth quartile. The mean rate of the plans in the quartile is reported in chart.
- Almost two-thirds of adults newly diagnosed with depression and treated with antidepressants remain on medication during the initial, acute phase of treatment.
- Less than half of adults newly diagnosed with depression and on antidepressants remain on the medication through the continuation phase, as recommended by experts.
- The mean rate for the continuation phase measure among the lowest performing plans is almost half that of the highest performing plans, 30% vs. 58% (Figure 2.19).