Making the cut: Depression screening in urban general hospital clinics for culturally diverse Latino populations
OBJECTIVES: We examined whether the cut-point 10 for the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9) depression screen used in primary care populations is equally valid for Mexicans (M), Ecuadorians (E), Puerto Ricans (PR) and non-Hispanic whites (W) from inner-city hospital-based primary care clinics; and whether stressful life events elevate scores and the probability of major depressive disorder (MDD). METHODS: Over 18-months, a sample of persons from hospital clinics with a positive initial PHQ2 and a subsequent PHQ9 were administered a stressful life event questionnaire and a Structured Clinical Interview to establish an MDD diagnosis, with oversampling of those between 8 and 12: (n=261: 75 E, 71 M, 51 PR, 64 W). For analysis, the sample was weighted using chart review (n=368) to represent a typical clinic population. Receiver Operating Characteristics analysis selected cut-points maximizing sensitivity (Sn) plus specificity (Sp). RESULTS: The optimal cut-point for all groups was 13 with the corresponding Sn and Sp estimates for E=(Sn 73%, Sp 71%), M=(76%, 81%), PR=(81%, 63%) and W=(80%, 74%). Stressful life events impacted screen scores and MDD diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: Elevating the PHQ9 cut-point for inner-city Latinos as well as whites is suggested to avoid high false positive rates leading to improper treatment with clinical and economic consequences.
Use of a standardized patient paradigm to enhance proficiency in risk assessment for adolescent depression and suicide
PURPOSE: Although routine adolescent depression and suicide risk assessment (ADSRA) is recommended, primary care physician (PCP) ADSRA training is needed for successful ADSRA implementation. This study examined the effect of an intervention using standardized patients (SPs) on PCP ADSRA confidence, knowledge, and practices. METHODS: The intervention consisted of a 60-minute seminar followed by a 60-minute SP session to practice ADSRA skills in simulated clinical situations. INTERVENTION: PCPs (n = 46) completed pre- and postintervention assessments. Untrained PCPs interested in the intervention (n = 58) also completed assessments. Assessments evaluated ADSRA self-reported confidence and practices and objectively assessed knowledge. The main outcomes were (1) changes in pre-/postintervention PCP ADSRA confidence and knowledge, and (2) ADSRA practices in untrained versus postintervention PCPs. RESULTS: Compared with untrained PCPs, PCPs 5-10 months postintervention were more likely to screen most adolescents for depression (40% vs. 22%, p = .05), to use a depression screening tool (50% vs. 19%, p = .001), to have diagnosed at least one adolescent with depression in the past 3 months (96% vs. 78%, p = .013), and to have screened depressed adolescents for suicide risk factors, including access to weapons (51% vs. 25%; p = .007) or an impulsive violence history (27% vs. 11%; p = .037). PCP confidence and knowledge about depression assessment and treatment also significantly improved postintervention. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the use of an SP intervention to improve PCP ADSRA confidence, knowledge, and practices. Widespread implementation of similar educational efforts has the potential to dramatically improve adolescent morbidity and mortality.