A Framework for Drug Utilization Evaluation in Depression: Insights From Outcomes Research

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Abstract

Background.

Drug utilization evaluation (DUE) offers the prospect of improving the quality of care in depression by focusing on drug-related problems (DRPs). Outcomes research in depression can provide a basis on which to address difficulties in implementing DUE programs in the outpatient environment of managed care.

Objective.

The purpose of this paper is to facilitate the development of a drug utilization evaluation program for depressed patients receiving care in an outpatient environment.

Methods.

The literature was reviewed in the area of depression treatment, drug-related problems, and current outcomes research. This information was synthesized into a framework with potential DUE criteria.

Conclusion.

The quality of care for depression can be improved if these efforts are focused on solving DRPs. Outcomes research findings may be used as the basis for developing DUE criteria and as a first step in selecting and targeting interventions.

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