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Pfeiffer PN, Valenstein M, Ganoczy D, Henry J, Dobscha SK, Piette JD. Pilot study of enhanced social support with automated telephone monitoring after psychiatric hospitalization for depression. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. 2017 Feb 1; 52(2):183-191.
BACKGROUND: Following discharge, patients hospitalized for depression are at high risk for poor retention in outpatient care and adverse outcomes. AIMS: Pilot tests a post-hospital monitoring and enhanced support program for depression. METHOD: 48 patients at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center discharged following a depression-related inpatient stay received weekly visits or phone calls for 6 months from their choice of either a family member/friend (n = 19) or a certified peer support specialist (n = 29). Participants also completed weekly automated telephone monitoring calls assessing depressive symptoms and antidepressant medication adherence. RESULTS: Over 90% of participants were more satisfied with their care due to the service. The mean change from baseline to 6 months in depression symptoms was -7.9 (p < 0.05) according to the Patient Health Questionnaire and -11.2 (p < 0.05) according to the Beck Depression Inventory-II for those supported by a family member/friend, whereas those supported by a peer specialist had mean changes of -3.5 (p < 0.05) and -1.7 (p > 0.10), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Increased contact with a chosen support person coupled with automated telephone monitoring after psychiatric hospitalization is an acceptable service for patients with depression. Those who received the service, and particularly those supported by a family member/friend, experienced reductions in symptoms of depression.