Depression in Primary Care: Comorbid Disorders and Related Problems

  • Barbara L. Niles
  • DeAnna L. Mori
  • Jennifer F. Lambert
  • Erika J. Wolf
Original Article


Identifying and treating depression has been a major focus in primary care over the last decade. Unfortunately, treatments have not been as successful as originally hoped. The current study investigated factors that may contribute to poor outcomes in a sample of VA primary care patients. Results indicate that 15.5% of the patients in this investigation had significant symptoms of depression. The vast majority (89.6%) of these patients also had significant symptoms of at least one additional comorbid psychiatric condition. Furthermore, an association between depression and unhealthy behaviors (smoking, not exercising) was demonstrated. Finally, sexual dysfunction and chronic pain were more frequently observed in individuals with depressive symptoms. These findings illustrate that depression is only one of many problems for most primary care patients identified with depression. A multidisciplinary team in primary care is recommended to provide a coordinated approach to the treatment of depression and its associated problems.

depression primary care comorbidity lifestyle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara L. Niles
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 7
  • DeAnna L. Mori
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jennifer F. Lambert
    • 4
    • 5
  • Erika J. Wolf
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare SystemBoston
  2. 2.National Center for PTSD, Behavioral Sciences DivisionBoston
  3. 3.Boston University School of MedicineBoston
  4. 4.Veterans Administration Providence Healthcare SystemProvidence
  5. 5.Brown University Medical SchoolProvidence
  6. 6.Boston University Department of PsychologyBoston
  7. 7.National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System 116-B-2Boston

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