Background: Data demonstrate an adverse association between depression and coronary artery disease prognosis. Therefore, a depression screening program was initiated in the catheterization (cath) lab. The goals were to improve HEDIS depression compliance rates and determine the impact on clinical outcomes.
Methods: Adult patients in an inpatient cath lab from 3 cardiology practices were screened for enrollment in a randomized controlled trial. All cath lab patients received a PHQ-9 depression screener. Those who screened positive for depression (score ≥ 10) were randomized to intervention or usual care. The usual care group received a follow-up phone call to re-administer the PHQ-9 at 6-8 weeks and within 210 days of discharge. The intervention group was administered the PHQ-9 and received intensive education at baseline, 6-8 weeks, and within 210 days of discharge. Education included targeted depression information with a mental health care provider and comprehensive disease management education with a cardiovascular nurse practitioner. Outcomes included: differences in HEDIS depression goal attainment; depression response/remission rates; and cardiovascular goals. Differences between groups were tested using chi-squared tests (categorical variables) and t-tests (continuous variables).
Results: Baseline characteristics were similar between control (N=43) and intervention (N=40) groups, with the exception of significantly fewer African American patients in the control group (N=2, 4.7%) vs intervention (N=9, 22.5%). Changes in HEDIS goal attainment show that patients in the intervention group were slightly more likely to be referred to a provider to address depression (95.0% vs 86.0%, p=0.314), or receive meds for depression (65.0% vs 51.2%, p=0.219), but these differences are not statistically significant. More patients in the intervention group refused meds for depression compared to control (15.0% vs. 2.3%, p=0.041); have received blood work (65.0% vs 41.9%, p=0.030); and have received follow-up within 210 days (82.5% vs 46.5%, p<0.001). Treatment adjustment rate was higher in the intervention group compared to control (85.0% vs. 65.1%, p=0.037). Hospital readmission rate was similar between groups (p=0.896) and there was no difference in depression remission or response rates (p=0.426). Further, no differences were seen in cardiovascular surrogate outcome parameters, including cholesterol, A1c, CRP, or BNP between groups; except SGOT was significantly different between groups (-5.0 intervention vs 2.0 control p=0.045).
Conclusions: These data demonstrate improvements in attaining a surrogate outcome measure of quality (HEDIS goals); however, this does not appear to translate to a significant clinical impact. Quality measures may need to be continuously reassessed to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of care.