Initial outcomes of a real-world multi-site primary care psychotherapy program

Craig N. Sawchuk, Julia R. Craner, Summer L. Berg, Kileen Smyth, John Mack, Melissa Glader, Lisa Burke, Sean Haggerty, Marcia Johnson, Stephanie Miller, Sara Sedivy, Denise Morcomb, Dagoberto Heredia, Mark W. Williams, David J. Katzelnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Although anxiety, mood, and adjustment disorders are commonly treated in primary care, little evidence exists regarding psychotherapy outcomes within this setting. The primary objective of this study was to describe outcomes of a large-scale primary care psychotherapy program. Methods: Patients (N = 2772) participated in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of a multi-site primary care program. A tracking system was utilized to collect data on demographics, diagnoses, course of care, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and frequencies of psychotherapy principles used over the course of primary care CBT. Results: Anxiety disorders were most frequent, often comorbid with depression. Over two-thirds of the sample participated in at least one CBT session. Case formulation, cognitive interventions, exposure, and behavioral activation were frequently utilized approaches. Significant improvements on the GAD-7 and PHQ-9 occurred for all groups, yielding medium effect sizes (d = 0.50–0.68). Rates of reliable change (48–80%), response (35–53%), and remission (21–36%) were noted for those scoring in the moderate range of severity. Conclusion: Patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders can be effectively treated in primary care with CBT. Future efforts are needed to match patient characteristics with the types and timing of therapy interventions to improve clinical and functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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