Cochrane for Clinicians

Putting Evidence into Practice

Collaborative Care for Depression and Anxiety

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Am Fam Physician. 2014 Apr 1;89(7):524-525.

Clinical Question

Is the collaborative care model effective for treating patients with depression, anxiety, or both?

Evidence-Based Answer

The collaborative care model is effective for treating adults with depression and/or anxiety using a multiprofessional approach to patient care, a structured management plan, scheduled patient follow-ups, and enhanced interprofessional communication. (Strength of Recommendation: A, based on consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence.)

Practice Pointers

Depression and anxiety pose a challenge to the health care system; primary care clinicians often must detect, manage, and prevent these conditions without assistance from other professionals trained to treat these specific disorders. Depression and anxiety, which often present together,1 have a significant impact on physical health, social and occupational functioning, and mortality.2

The complexity of treating mental health problems and the need to improve the current health care delivery system have prompted

The practice recommendations in this activity are available at


Archer J, Bower P, Gilbody S, et al. Collaborative care for depression and anxiety problems. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(10):CD006525.


1. Prins MA, Verhaak PF, Hilbink-Smolders M, et al. Outcomes for depression and anxiety in primary care and details of treatment: a naturalistic longitudinal study. BMC Psychiatry. 2011;11:180.

2. National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). Depression: The treatment and management of depression in adults (updated edition). National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence: Guidance. Leicester, United Kingdom: British Psychological Society; 2010.

3. Trangle M, Dieperink B, Gabert T, et al.; Major depression in adults in primary care. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement; 2012. Accessed March 20, 2013.

4. Unützer J, Katon W, Callahan CM, et al.; IMPACT Investigators: Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment. Collaborative care management of late-life depression in the primary care setting: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002;288(22):2836–2845.

These are summaries of reviews from the Cochrane Library.

The series coordinator for AFP is Corey D. Fogleman, MD, Lancaster General Hospital Family Medicine Residency, Lancaster, Pa.

A collection of Cochrane for Clinicians published in AFP is available at

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