Acceptability of the Stepped Care Model of Depression Treatment in Primary Care Patients and Providers

Jim A. Haugh, Krista Herbert, Seo Choi, Joanna Petrides, Meagan W. Vermeulen, Juliana D’Onofrio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Primary care has become the first and only point of contact for a majority of individuals experiencing depressive symptoms. One alternative model of care that has been adopted in international primary care settings as an alternative to standard care is the stepped care model. Emerging evidence suggests that the stepped care model is at least as effective as standard care for depression; however, little is known about attitudes of patients and providers regarding this model, especially within the US. The current study utilized a cross-sectional survey to inquire about general attitudes towards the stepped care model, the individual steps, and the treatments offered within each step. We also examined the step that participants would prefer if prescribing or seeking help and the strength of those preferences. Descriptive and inferential statistics indicated that participants view the stepped care model as an acceptable form of treatment for depression and it is an improvement upon standard care. Results also indicated that our patient sample generally preferred self-help interventions over other treatment options, while most of our provider sample would prefer to treat patients in a manner consistent with the stepped care model. These results highlight the importance of collaboration and assessing preferences for treatment choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-410
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology


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