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Mavandadi S, Ingram E, Chen S, Klaus J, Oslin D. The association between social ties and changes in depressive symptoms among veterans enrolled in a collaborative depression care management program. Psychological Services. 2022 Feb 1; 19(1):111-117.
A greater understanding of factors that are associated with successful outcomes among patients receiving collaborative depression care services is needed. This study sought to examine the unique associations between 3 indices of social ties and changes in depressive symptoms among veterans receiving collaborative depression care management. Data on sociodemographics, behavioral health indices, perceived general health, perceived social support, frequency of negative social exchanges, and degree of social contact were extracted from the electronic health records of 868 veterans meeting criteria for at least moderate depressive symptom severity and enrolled in a Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) program. Veterans were on average 51.3 ( = 15.9) years old and primarily male. Higher depressive symptoms at baseline were significantly correlated with less perceived social support, less frequent contact with family and friends, and greater frequency of negative social exchanges. Adjusted regression analyses revealed that only social contact was significantly related to changes in depressive symptoms over the course of care management, once controlling for covariates. The results highlight the value of taking multiple indices of social ties into account when providing depression care management services. Routinely assessing patients'' level of social contact can potentially help tailor and inform intervention efforts aimed at reducing depressive symptoms. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).