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2004 National Healthcare Quality Report

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Effectiveness: Mental Health

Importance and Measures

Prevalence and Incidence

  • Depression affects about 9.5% of Americans'19 million people—in a given year1.

Morbidity and Mortality

  • About 60% of people who commit suicide have had a mood disorder, including major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia2.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 20203.


  • The financial costs of depression among the working population are estimated at over $43 billion per year4.


The NHQR tracks four measures for clinical depression, including two measures of appropriate antidepressant medication treatment, one measure of practitioner contacti, and the national suicide rate. This section highlights both measures of medication treatment quality for adults:

  • Receipt of antidepressant medication treatment during acute phase (i.e., first 3 months following initial diagnosis)
  • Receipt of antidepressant medication treatment through continuation phase (6 months) of treatment

iThis report does not focus on optimal practitioner contacts for medication management because the measure specifications are changing this year.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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