Logo Logo
Switch Language to German
Petersen, Juliana J.; Hartig, Johannes; Paulitsch, Michael A.; Pagitz, Manuel; Mergenthal, Karola; Rauck, Sandra; Reif, Andreas; Gerlach, Ferdinand M.; Gensichen, Jochen (2018): Classes of depression symptom trajectories in patients with major depression receiving a collaborative care intervention.
In: PLOS One 13(9), e0202245
Creative Commons Attribution 1MB


Purpose Collaborative care is effective in improving symptoms of patients with depression. The aims of this study were to characterize symptom trajectories in patients with major depression during one year of collaborative care and to explore associations between baseline characteristics and symptom trajectories. Methods We conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial in primary care. The collaborative care intervention comprised case management and behavioral activation. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) to assess symptom severity as the primary outcome. Statistical analyses comprised latent growth mixture modeling and a hierarchical binary logistic regression model. Results We included 74 practices and 626 patients (310 intervention and 316 control recipients) at baseline. Based on a minimum of 12 measurement points for each intervention recipient, we identified two latent trajectories, which we labeled 'fast improvers' (60.5%) and 'slow improvers' (39.5%). At all measurements after baseline, 'fast improvers' presented higher PHQ mean values than 'slow improvers'. At baseline, 'fast improvers' presented fewer physical conditions, higher health-related quality of life, and had made fewer suicide attempts in their history. Conclusions: A notable proportion of 39.5% of patients improved only 'slowly' and probably needed more intense treatment. The third follow-up in month two could well be a sensible time to adjust treatment to support 'slow improvers'.