Effects of a depression education program on residents' knowledge, attitudes, and clinical skills

Lee A. Learman, Martha S. Gerrity, D. Robin Field, Amy Van Blaricom, Jillian Romm, Julia Choe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether an interactive educational program would improve obstetrics and gynecology residents' knowledge, attitudes, confidence, and skills in caring for depressed patients. Methods: We recruited 74 residents from eight residency programs to attend the Depression Education Program, which consists of a 1-hour lecture and two 2-hour workshops combining discussion, diagnosis and treatment tools, critique of a videotape, practice with feedback, and audiotape self-assessment. Before and after the program, participants 1) completed a questionnaire measuring knowledge, attitudes, and reported actions taken with a recent depressed patient; 2) received a standardized patient visit; and 3) kept lists of patients they suspected were depressed. Clinic patients completed a depression screening questionnaire. To assess improvement, we used paired t tests, McNemar χ2 tests, and multivariate models adjusting for training site. Results: The education program led to 3-month improvements in participants' reported use of formal diagnostic criteria (38% before, 66% after; P = .004), clinical actions documented for suspected depression (P = .035), and perceived self-efficacy in depression care (P < .001). Perceived preparedness to diagnose depression, treat with medications, and comanage with a mental health practitioner improved (P < .05 for each). Small improvements in clinical behaviors with standardized patients and clinic-based depression detection rates were not statistically significant. Conclusion: The Depression Education Program improved residents' knowledge, confidence, and reported clinical actions with depressed patients, but did not improve most objectively assessed outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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