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Patients with severe depression improve using guidelines developed by UT Southwestern researchers

t, while others received treatment methods regularly administered by the clinics' doctors.

"Both groups of patients received treatment from qualified physicians who had access to the same treatments and medications," Dr. Trivedi said. "Therefore all patients improved.

"But the level of improvement in the disease-management group was twice as much better when measured by a clinician and three times as much better when the patient described his or her own level of improvement. The outcomes for symptomatic improvement, as well as functional improvement, were dramatically better among patients who followed the algorithm-based program. These results should encourage physicians and health-care systems to design management programs based on these easy-to-use algorithms."

Patients' outcomes were measured by three standardized tests regularly used to determine levels of depression.

When TMAP began seven years ago, it was the first program in the nation aimed at establishing and implementing medication guidelines for treating psychiatric illness in the public sector. Besides mapping out algorithms for depression, TMAP also offers parallel guidelines for treating bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Its organizers hoped the effort could lead to substantial improvements in quality of care and clinical outcomes, along with cost predictability for patients.

The effort was prompted by research findings pointing to significant variations nationally in medical treatments administered to the mentally ill. When patients moved from clinic to clinic, they often received different treatments.

Other researchers from UT Southwestern's Department of Psychiatry involved in the study were Drs. John Rush, professor; Michael Kashner, professor; Trisha Suppes, associate professor; assistant professors Thomas Carmody, Melanie Biggs and Kathy Shores-Wilson; and Kenneth Altshuler, clinical professor. Also contributing to the study were researchers fro
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Contact: Donna Steph Hansard
donna.hansard@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
5-Jul-2004


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