• Major Depression Comparative Effectiveness Study - Expanding DARTNet

    Study Description and Methods

    We are using national claims data to generate knowledge of antidepressant treatment of adult and pediatric depression episodes. Our ultimate goals are to develop upon what is known in the literature and identify areas where additional measures will improve the ability to study the effectiveness and safety of antidepressants in the primary care environment.

    Specific Aims and Objectives

    The specific aims of our project are:

    1. Utilization Study—Conduct population-based cohort studies of incident (new) episodes of major depression using commercially available national claims data. Describe the patterns of use of antidepressants and combinations of other psychotropic drugs, both alone and in combination with psychotherapy. Examine patterns of treatment utilization for pediatric and adult populations separately, and compare primary care versus specialty mental health care diagnosing of major depression and prescribing of psychotropics.
    2. Comparative Effectiveness of Treatment for Major Depression—Utilize commercially available national claims data to evaluate the responsiveness and remission rates for major depression treatment and inform and expand knowledge on depression care.
    3. Comparative Safety Study of Antidepressants—Measure rates of adverse effects to include the most common medical side effects causing treatment discontinuation, and suicidality, including ideation and attempts.


    This project is conducted from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010.


    Analysis of Claims, PHQ-9, and Episode Dating Point of Care data are completed and a final report has been submitted to AHRQ.

    Findings and Publications

    Access the complete manuscript:

    Monitoring Suicidal Patients in Primary Care Using Electronic Health Records. Anderson HD, Pace DW, Brandt E, Nielsen RD, Allen RR, Libby AM, West DR, Valuck RJ. J Am Board Fam Med. January-February 2015; 28:65-71

    Rates of 5 Common Antidepressant Side Effects Among New Adult and Adolescent Case of Depression: A Retrospective US Claims Study. Anderson HS, Pace, WD, Libby AM, et al. Clin Ther. 2012;34(1):113-123.

    Enhancing Electronic Health Record Measurement of Depression Severity and Suicide Ideation: A Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet) Study. Valuck RJ, Anderson HO, Libby AM, et al. J Am Board Fam Med. 2012;25(5):582-593.

    Contact Information

    For additional information about this study, please contact:

    AAFP National Research Network
    1-800-274-2237 x3180

    This project is funded by a grant from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (DEcIDE Task Order #4, Contract #HHSA29020050037I TO4).