Treating Depression After Coronary Artery Bypass Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Costs
Mar 15, 2012 - 9:38:26 AM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - ATHENS, Greece, March 15 – Patients who are treated for depression through a new collaborative care model after undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures showed improvements in mood and health and incurred lower health care costs, according to a University of Pittsburgh-led study that was presented today at the American Psychosomatic Society’s annual meeting. The findings were presented by Bruce L. Rollman, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and principal investigator for the Bypassing the Blues Trial.
Over 400,000 people in the U.S. undergo CABG surgery annually, and approximately one in four experience depression afterwards. Depressed patients tend to experience delayed recovery, poorer quality of life, elevated risk of hospital readmission and death, and higher healthcare costs than those who do not become depressed.
The Bypassing the Blues study involved 453 depressed patients who had undergone CABG and was the first comparative-effectiveness trial to examine the impact of collaborative care for treating depression following an acute cardiac event. The intervention involved a nurse care manager who telephoned patients to educate them about depression, offered various treatment options, and monitored their condition in collaboration with patients’ primary care physicians (PCPs).
As reported earlier by the study team in the Journal of the American Medical Association, intervention patients reported significantly greater improvements in mood symptoms, health-related quality of life, and physical functioning versus patients randomized to their PCPs’ usual care for depression.
In the first cost-effectiveness analyses for treating depression in patients with cardiovascular disease, lead author Julie Donohue, Ph.D., associate professor of health policy and management, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and the Bypassing the Blues Trial team examined study participants’ Medicare and other insurance claims. Researchers found that patients who underwent intervention had 12-month health care costs that were $449 lower than usual-care patients ($18,172 vs. $18,621).
“Collaborative care has emerged as an integral part of the ‘patient-centered medical home’ model to reorganize and reimburse PCPs for providing high-quality chronic illness care,” Dr. Rollman said. “Demonstrating its cost-effectiveness for post-CABG depression and other cardiovascular conditions is crucial to support its widespread adoption.”
Bypassing the Blues is a National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded effectiveness trial conducted through the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Research on Health Care. These economic analyses were conducted with additional support provided through a grant from the Fine Foundation to Dr. Donohue. For more information on the study, go to http://www.bypassingtheblues.pitt.edu.
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About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
As one of the nation’s leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1997.
Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region’s economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see www.medschool.pitt.edu.
About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. GSPH is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health problems. For more information about GSPH, visit the school’s Web site at http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu.
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