Major depression is a prevalent chronic disease in the United States. However, many physicians lack access to decision support tools at point of care to help choose antidepressants in a rational, evidence-based manner. A patient-centered treatment model that uses a symptom-based approach to selecting antidepressants was developed into a smartphone application to provide instant, evidence-based recommendations and drug monographs. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of this mobile application on the confidence level of family physicians in treating depression.The smartphone application was provided to 14 family medicine residents and attending physicians from the O'Connor Family Medicine Residency Program in San Jose, CA. Participants were asked to use the software as drug reference and clinical decision support during patient care activities. Three surveys were administered over a 12-week period to assess provider characteristics, outcome measures (ie, confidence in managing depression and choosing an initial antidepressant based on patient symptoms, medical comorbidities, potential side effects, and drug interactions), and fund of antidepressant knowledge.The average confidence levels in managing depression, starting an antidepressant on a patient with depression, and choosing an initial antidepressant based on patient symptoms increased significantly within the period of smartphone application usage. The average scores on the antidepressant knowledge tests also improved.The smartphone application was an effective tool for both increasing confidence in depression treatment and educating physicians. Future studies to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of smartphone applications on medical education and postgraduate training are warranted.
View details for PubMedID 25163042