The management of depressive symptoms in patients with COPD: a postal survey of general practitioners.
SourcePrimary Health Care Research & Development, 12, 3, (2011), pp. 237-244
1 juli 2011
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Primary Health Care Research & Development
SubjectNCEBP 3: Implementation Science; NCEBP 3: Implementation Science
AIMS: We examined the management of depression by general practitioners (GPs), through the use of case vignettes, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe osteoarthritis and depressive symptoms alone. BACKGROUND: Depression is common in patients with COPD. Untreated depression leads to poor compliance with medical treatment and increases health-care utilisation. METHODS: We surveyed a random sample of GPs (n = 3956) in England using a postal questionnaire. The questionnaire explored how GPs would approach the management of emotional distress in patients with and without a chronic condition and gauged their views of and experiences with depression in patients with COPD. FINDINGS: A total of 864 completed responses were received (22%). In the vignettes, a significantly greater percentage of GPs reported that they would explore or offer the diagnosis of depression in a patient with COPD (95.4%) compared with patients with either severe osteoarthritis (88.3%) or depressive symptoms alone (86.3%). In each case, the vast majority of GPs reported that they would explore a diagnosis of depression using a clinical diagnostic tool. The preferred method of treatment, if offered, in all three cases was a combination of anti-depressant drugs and psychological therapy. GPs endorsed the importance of routinely screening for depression in patients who have COPD and acknowledged that depression impairs patient self-management of COPD.In conclusion, GPs in England were able to diagnose depression from the vignettes and plan appropriate treatment strategies in patients with chronic diseases. This should be complemented with thorough physical examination by GPs to rule out other factors such as the impact of physical illness. GPs believe depression interferes with patient self-management of COPD.
Upload full text