Pathways of depression care - a register-based study

Pathways of depression care is a registry-based study. The aim is to investigate whether the Regular GP Scheme contributes to equal health services for patients with depression, and whether the services have an impact on patients' work participation across gender and socioeconomic status.

The empirical base for the study is linked data from 7 national registries (KUHR, NPR, NorPD, FD-National Insurance, Education Database, Population Registry and RGP Register). The study population comprises the entire population 12 years and older, and the follow-up period is 2008-2016.

The study is conducted with the approval of the Regional Ethics Committee, the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, and the register owners.

Depression is a core challenge to society. Depressive disorders require person-centred and coordinated health services that are particularly attentive to the risk of exclusion from work life. GPs play a key role in this collaborative care, but knowledge is scarce whether the GPs deliver equitable health services, and which pathways promote work participation among patients with depression.

The project will generate new knowledge about how depression care works and how services can be optimized. A user group has been established and will play an important role in all phases of the project.

Project outcomes

  • Time trends in GP depression treatment indicate that more patients receive talking therapy, while fewer receive medication and sick leave.
  • GP depression care varies: highly educated women are less likely to receive medication than women with low education.