Primary care-based screening and management of depression amongst heavy drinking patients. Interim secondary outcomes of a three-country quasi-experimental study in Latin America

  • INTRODUCTION: Implementation of evidence-based care for heavy drinking and depression remains low in global health systems. We tested the impact of providing community support, training, and clinical packages of varied intensity on depression screening and management for heavy drinking patients in Latin American primary healthcare.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Quasi-experimental study involving 58 primary healthcare units in Colombia, Mexico and Peru randomized to receive: (1) usual care (control); (2) training using a brief clinical package; (3) community support plus training using a brief clinical package; (4) community support plus training using a standard clinical package. Outcomes were proportion of: (1) heavy drinking patients screened for depression; (2) screen-positive patients receiving appropriate support; (3) all consulting patients screened for depression, irrespective of drinking status.

    RESULTS: 550/615 identified heavy drinkers were screened for depression (89.4%). 147/230 patients screening positive for depression received appropriate support (64%). Amongst identified heavy drinkers, adjusting for country, sex, age and provider profession, provision of community support and training had no impact on depression activity rates. Intensity of clinical package also did not affect delivery rates, with comparable performance for brief and standard versions. However, amongst all consulting patients, training providers resulted in significantly higher rates of alcohol measurement and in turn higher depression screening rates; 2.7 times higher compared to those not trained.

    CONCLUSIONS: Training using a brief clinical package increased depression screening rates in Latin American primary healthcare. It is not possible to determine the effectiveness of community support on depression activity rates due to the impact of COVID-19.

  • info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
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