Practice nurse care ‘not cost effective’

The study looked at depression-free days in 154 patients seen by 16 practice nurses in nine practices.

It showed high level practice nurse care, where the nurses saw more than 50% of depressed patients and spent more than 50% of each consultation on education and monitoring, cost between $314 and $584 more and resulted in 5% fewer depression-free days than low level care. However, the differences were not statistically significant.

The authors noted practice nurses involved in managing depression required specific training.

“Without focused training and support, it is not an efficient use of scarce nursing time,” they wrote.

BMC Fam Pract 2014; online 14 Jan