A critical element of DAWN is the active use of a structured, stepped-care approach for treating depression. Because each patient has unique clinical circumstances, it is not possible to provide a treatment algorithm that fits each patient. However, a measurement-based approach provides a general guideline for providers to supplement their clinical judgment. The goals of DAWN are to reduce symptoms, improve psychosocial functioning, and prevent relapse and recurrence of symptoms.
Measurement-based care has four key components, described in more detail in subsequent sections.
- Depression Screening and Assessment: Use of validated instruments to screen for depression in large patient populations.
- Diagnosis of Depression: Use of more comprehensive instruments to confirm and clarify a diagnosis of depression.
- Systematic Case Review: Regular review of DAWN patients by a team of consultants who make treatment recommendations shared with the Ob-Gyn provider.
- Patient Registry: A database system that allows for easy tracking of a care manager’s entire caseload.