Primary care multidisciplinary team consultations might not help deprived mothers with anxiety or depression

iStock_000016967351XSmall poor deprived woman

Mothers living in socioeconomically deprived communities are vulnerable to anxiety and depression, but traditional medical approaches often fail to reach them.

This prospective randomised controlled trial set out to compare the effectiveness of a lengthened multi-disciplinary team consultation with normal primary care in reducing anxiety and depression in mothers.

Ninety four mothers were recruited from three general practices from an area of extreme socio-economic deprivation. Mothers randomised into the intervention group attended a multidisciplinary consultation with up to four case-specific health care professionals. Consultations addressed medical, psychological and social problems and lasted up to one hour. Conventional primary care continued to be available to the intervention families. Control group families received normal primary care services.

The outcomes measured were anxiety and depression as using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), health status using SF36v2, and quality of life using the abbreviated Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL-DW) at baseline, 6 months and 12 months.

Ordered logistic regression was used to analyse the data. There was no significant difference found between intervention and control groups after 6 months and 12 months in all of the measured outcomes.

The research team concluded:

The new lengthened multi-disciplinary team consultation did not have any impact on the mental health, general health, and quality of life of mothers after 6 and 12 months. Other methods of primary health care delivery in socio-economically deprived communities need to be evaluated.

Chan WS, Whitford DL, Conroy R, Gibney D, Hollywood B. A multidisciplinary primary care team consultation in a socio-economically deprived community: an exploratory randomised controlled trial. BMC Health Serv Res. 2011 Jan 24;11:15.

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