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John D Piette, Marcia Valenstein, Daniel Eisenberg, Michael D Fetters, Ananda Sen, Daniel Saunders, Daphne Watkins and James E Aikens
Objective: To test the effectiveness of an automated telemonitoring program for patients with depression that includes feedback to clinicians and support for a family member or friend serving as a non-professional caregiver.
Methods: Prior to being randomized to receive one year of either the Care Partners for Depression (CP-D) intervention or usual care alone, depressed patients from primary care clinics serving primarily low-income populations in rural and urban Michigan select a supportive adult from outside their home (their “Care Partner;” CP) to assist them in their depression self-management. In the CP-D arm, patients receive weekly automated telephone calls that provide monitoring and self-management guidance, CPs receive emailed guidance on supporting the patient’s selfmanagement based on patient-reported information, and primary care providers receive notifications about any urgent issues. At Baseline, Month 6, and Month 12, we assess depressive symptom severity (primary outcome) and several secondary outcomes.
Conclusion: To date, this is the only mHealth intervention for any psychiatric condition that involves a patientselected support person. If it proves effective and cost-efficient, a new sustainable intervention would be available to patients with significant depressive symptoms, providing new management alternatives for patients who are medically underserved or socially isolated.