Bridging the Communication Gap Between Physicians and Their Patients With Physical Symptoms of Depression

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Primary care physicians must understand and effectively communicate to their patients with depression the importance and process of managing the illness because these clinicians are usually the first to diagnose and treat patients with depression, especially depression with physical symptoms. Diagnosing and treating depression presents physicians and patients with a number of challenges, many of which arise because doctors and patients do not share enough information with one another. To improve the management of depression, physicians should explain how depression is diagnosed, how the individual’s depression will be treated, how treatment success is defined, what treatment side effects might occur and how they will be addressed, and why adhering to the treatment regimen is important. ​

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2004;6(suppl 1):17-24