Working Together to Make Depression Treatment Successful

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Columbia Psychiatry NYSPI

Columbia Psychiatry NYSPI

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Roberto Lewis-Fernandez MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, Director of the NYS Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, and Hispanic Treatment Program, at New York State Psychiatric Institute

Ivan Balan, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry), Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and Psychologist, Anxiety Disorders Clinic & the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute

The problem:  Challenge in engaging and retaining patients in anti-depressant treatment

                        --over 50% of patients do not take anti-depressants as prescribed --30% of patients discontinue treatment after one month

--Anti-depressants can help people overcome their depression, not completing treatment leaves them at risk of the depression returning and over the long term, having multiple episodes of depression.

Our approach to the problem:  Training psychiatrists in Motivational Interviewing in order to improve how they engage patients in treatment and help build and sustain their motivation to get better.  But a key challenge was to keep session length consistent with the usual 15-20 minutes.  

For more information on the Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence please go to  http://nyculturalcompetence.org/

For information on the participating in a research study at the Hispanic Treatment Center please go to http://www.hispanictreatmentatcolumbia.org/

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