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The collaborative care model for HIV and depression: Patient perspectives and experiences from a safety-net clinic in the United States

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Objectives: Collaborative care models may improve outcomes for both HIV and depression. The model includes routine screening and re-assessment of depressive symptoms as well as care coordination services delivered by an ancillary provider focused on mental health. We sought to explore patient experiences and attitudes about the services received through the collaborative care model, including measurement-based care using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

Methods: We conducted 17 qualitative interviews with patients in a collaborative care model implemented at an HIV primary care clinic in a safety-net hospital in the United States. Interviews were analyzed using Framework Analysis.

Results: Our findings illustrate the ways in which the collaborative care model for depression may be meaningful to patients in HIV care settings. Participants appreciated the support offered through the collaborative care model. Most participants perceived measurement-based care as useful to their providers, and an additional subset used the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 for their own self-management and awareness of depression. Over time, the collaborative care model appeared to motivate some patients to address depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: The collaborative care model may be particularly helpful to patients in the way that it reinforces how depressive symptoms can be measured and managed. Furthermore, routine screening and re-measurement for depressive symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 hold promise as an additional self-management tool to complement other clinical and supportive services.

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