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Feasibility and acceptability of a novel telepsychiatry-delivered precision prescribing intervention for anxiety and depression

HumanInsight Feasibility and acceptability of a novel telepsychiatry-delivered precision prescribing intervention for anxiety and depression

BMC Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 19;22(1):483. doi: 10.1186/s12888-022-04113-9.


BACKGROUND: Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder are pervasive and debilitating conditions, though treatment is often inaccessible and based on trial-and-error prescribing methods. The present observational study seeks to describe the use of a proprietary precision prescribing algorithm piloted during routine clinical practice as part of Brightside's telepsychiatry services. The primary aim is to determine the feasibility and acceptability of implementing this intervention. Secondary aims include exploring remission and symptom improvement rates.

METHODS: Participants were adult patients enrolled in Brightside who completed at least 12 weeks of treatment for depression and/or anxiety and received a prescription for at least one psychiatric medication. A prescription recommendation was made by Brightside's algorithm at treatment onset and was utilized for clinical decision support. Participants received baseline screening surveys of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7, and at weeks 2,4,6,8,10 and 12. Intent-to-treat (ITT) sensitivity analyses were conducted. Feasibility of the implementation was measured by the platform's ability to enroll and engage participants in timely psychiatric care, as well as offer high touch-point treatment options. Acceptability was measured by patient responses to a 5-star satisfaction rating.

RESULTS: Brightside accessed and treated 6248 patients from October 2018 to April 2021, treating a majority of patients within 4-days of enrollment. The average plan cost was $115/month. 89% of participants utilized Brightside's core medication plan at a cost of $95/month. 13.4% of patients in the study rated Brightside's services as highly satisfactory, averaging a 4.6-star rating. Furthermore, 90% of 6248 patients experienced a MCID in PHQ-9 or GAD-7 score. Remission rates were 75% (final PHQ-9 or GAD-7 score < 10) for the study sample and 59% for the ITT sample. 69.3% of Brightside patients were treated with the medication initially prescribed at intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that the present intervention may be feasible and acceptable within the assessed population. Exploratory analyses suggest that Brightside's course of treatment, guided by precision recommendations, improved patients' symptoms of anxiety and depression.

PMID:35854281 | DOI:10.1186/s12888-022-04113-9

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