Changes in diagnostic patterns of depression among family physicians in Latvia after participating in the education course on depression developed within the national research programme biomedicine 2014-2017: Preliminary results

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nnually, 7.9% of the general population in Latvia are suffering from depression. According to theofficial statistics, less than 8000 persons a year have been treated for depression in thestate-paid health care services while the National Research Programme (NRP) BIOMEDICINE2014–2017 found that more than 70 000 depressed patients annually are coming to family physi-cians (FPs) in Latvia. Within NRP researchers have developed an algorithm for diagnostics andtreatment of depression and carried out ten educational courses for FPs all over Latvia in 2016.Data on the treatment of depression have been collected from the National Health Service (NHS)database from 01.01.2015 till 30.06.2017. Changes between the trained and control groups havebeen calculated for the time period before intervention — 2015–2016 and six months right after it.The “Depression School” was attended by 210 (15.2%) out of 1382 FPs, in contract with theNHS, who signed in for the course on first-to-come basis. There were no statistically significantdemographic differences between trained and control groups, except, a larger proportion of FPsfrom rural places vs. the capital city attended the courses. Comparing the trained and controlgroups, during the period before the intervention there were on average 0.96 vs. 0.83 depressiveepisodes (F32) and 3.26 vs.1.74 recurrent depressive disorder (F33) episodes in 1/2 year (p<0.001). Statistically significant increase was observed for F33 episodes (+1.42,p< 0.001), andnumeric for F32 episodes (+0.18,p= 0.36) in the trained group of FPs in 2017. In total this gavea statistically significant (p< 0.001) increase by 43.6% of F33 diagnoses following the educationcourse on depression for family physicians. Further analysis of data to access sustainability oftraining effect after 12 and 24 months are underway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-194
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • depressive disorders
  • educational programme
  • primary care doctors

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database

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