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Battle Creek, Michigan 49015


We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that compared the effectiveness of a telephone delivered, recovery focused, peer-support intervention to enhanced usual care for VA patients with depression.

Study summary:

Peer-support interventions have been recommended by prestigious national task forces and incorporated into the VA Comprehensive Mental Health Strategic Plan. Patients who cope with longer term depressive symptoms may benefit from these interventions. An adequately powered study that examines the effectiveness of a feasible peer-support intervention for VA patients with depression will inform leaders who are considering implementing peer-support initiatives. If successful in improving outcomes, this intervention would be an important addition to the services offered to VA patients with depression. Although effective treatments are available for depression, remission is often incomplete and relapse is common. Thus, many patients must cope with longer term depressive symptoms that decrease their quality of life and compromise functioning. As with other chronic conditions, frequent, proactive, and supportive contacts may assist depressed patients in maintaining the motivation and self-management skills needed to reach valued life goals despite continuing symptoms. Peer-support interventions that supplement usual mental health care, allow for frequent contacts, build on key elements of chronic illness care, mutual self-help, and recovery may be beneficial for patients dealing with depressive symptoms over the longer term. In this study, each participant was matched with another participating veteran and the pairs randomized to enhanced usual care or to the telephone based peer-support intervention (DIAL-UP). All study participants received usual care plus in-person training and written materials outlining depression self-management strategies, behavioral activation, and recovery. DIAL-UP participants will also received: a) a peer-support manual that outlined these principles and provided peer discussion topics and b) access to a specialized telephone platform that permited free calls to their partners, ready access to mental health staff for back-up and advice, and recorded tips on depression management. Patients were encouraged to call their partners at least once per week during the 6-month intervention period. Patient outcomes were assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months following enrollment.


Inclusion Criteria: - currently in treatment at Ann Arbor, Detroit, Battle Creek, or Saginaw VA - not receiving formal mental health services or regularly attending mutual self-help programs outside of the VA - diagnosis of a depressive disorder in the last 24 months that is confirmed by the relevant clinician - prescription and initiation of a psychotherapy and/or antidepressant trial - are being seen less than bi-weekly by clinicians for psychiatric or substance use disorders - have a current PHQ-9 scores > 10 or WSAS scores > 10 - have stable access to and ability to communicate by telephone Exclusion Criteria: - diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, MDD with psychotic features, or Bipolar I in the past 24 months. Diagnosis of active substance dependence in the past 12 months or substance abuse in the last 6 months - an immediate risk of suicide, requiring hospitalization or urgent evaluation - clinician assessment that participation in the study could have an adverse impact on the patient or his/her partner.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Marcia T. Valenstein, MD AB
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Battle Creek, Michigan 49015
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: January 21, 2020

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