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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 39 (1997) 4, 309 - 320

Short report

Primary care physician and depressed patient; a problematic duo?

F.P.M.L. Peeters

During the last decades, the quality of mental health care in general practice is subject of much criticism and discussion in the professional literature. Recognition and treatment of unipolar depression is in this respect one of the central topics. It is often stated that, due to poor skills of primary care physicians, a substantial number of depressed patients is not adequately diagnosed and treated. Increasing the physician's skills would thus result in a decrease of depression related morbidity. In light of methodological problems in generalizing psychiatric research data to primary care settings and recent research data from both primary care and specialty settings, this viewpoint is critically examined.