Skip to main content

Collaborative Care model in mental health. Scope and experiences after three years of activity in Mexico City

  • Valerio Villamil-Salcedo (a1), Blanca E. Vargas-Terrez (a2) and Adriana Díaz-Anzaldúa (a1)

The aim of this study was to evaluate the experience of the Collaborative Care model with general practitioners (GPs) for diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in primary care centers (PCC).


For many years, different ways to address mental health problems in primary care settings have been evaluated. However, there is still debate over how to treat psychiatric conditions in such a context.


A cross-sectional design was used. The study was conducted in two consecutive studies in six PCC that serve marginalized population in Mexico City. In the first study, cases were interviewed, diagnosed, and treated by a psychiatrist. In the second study, Collaborative Care model was used and GPs were trained; psychiatrists diagnosed and treated patients but GPs discussed the symptoms and treatment of the patients with the psychiatrist.


First study: 18 patients with depressive and/or anxiety disorders were interviewed; these cases were not discussed between the GPs and the psychiatrist. Second study: psychiatrists and GPs conducted joint interviews and cases were discussed. From the 399 evaluated individuals, 38.94% were diagnosed with a depressive disorder. After the Collaborative Care model was applied, GPs were more aware about mental health problems and they were more interested in the identification of these conditions in PCC. Replication studies will help confirm the effectiveness of this model.

Corresponding author
Correspondence to: Valerio Villamil-Salcedo, Department of Clinical Research, Nacional Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz. Mexico City. Mexico. Email:
Hide All
Berenzon, S., Saavedra, N., Medina-Mora, M.E., Aparicio, V. and Galván, J. 2013: Evaluación del sistema de salud mental en México: ¿Hacia dónde encaminar la atención de la salud mental? Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública 33, 252258.
Borges, G., Medina-Mora, M.E., Wang, P.S., Lara, C., Berglund, P. and Walters, E. 2006: Treatment and adequacy on treatment of mental disorders among respondents to the Mexico National Comorbidity Survey. American Journal of Psychiatry 163, 13711378.
Bower, P. and Gilbody, S. 2005: Managing common mental health disorders in primary care: conceptual models and evidence base. British Medical Journal 330, 839842.
Gask, L., Sibbald, B. and Creed, F. 1997: Evaluating models of working at the interface between mental health services and primary care. British Journal of Psychiatry 170, 611.
Heinze, G., Chapa, G.C., Santisteban, J.A. and Vargas, I. 2012: Los especialistas en psiquiatría en México: su distribución, ejercicio profesional y certificación. Salud Mental 35, 279285.
Katon, W., Von Korff, M., Lin, E. and Simon, G. 2001: Rethinking practitioner roles in chronic illness: the specialist, primary care physician and the practice nurse. General Hospital of Psychiatry 23, 138144.
Lara, C., Medina-Mora, M.E. and Borges, G. 2007: Social cost of mental disorders: Disability and work days lost. Results from the Mexican survey of psychiatric epidemiology. Salud Mental 30, 411.
Mascayano Tapia, F., Lips Castro, W., Mena Poblete, C. and Manchego Soza, C. 2015: Estigma hacia los trastornos mentales: características e intervenciones. Salud Mental 38, 5358.
Medina-Mora, M.E., Borges, G., Lara, C., Blanco-Jaimes, J., Fleiz-Bautista, C., Villatoro-Velázquez, J., Rojas-Guiot, E., Zambrano-Ruiz, J., Casanova-Rodas, L. and Aguilar-Gaxiola, S. 2003: Prevalencia de Trastornos Mentales y uso de servicios: Resultados de la Encuesta Nacional de Epidemiología Psiquiátrica en México. Salud Mental 26, 116.
Mora-Ríos, J. and Bautista, N. 2014: Estigma estructural, género e interseccionalidad. Implicaciones en la atención a la salud mental. Salud Mental 37, 303312.
Saraceno, B., van Ommeren, M., Batniji, R., Cohen, A., Gureje, O., Mahoney, J., Sridhar, D. and Underhill, C. 2007: Barriers to the improvement of mental health services in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet 370, 11641174.
Vargas-Terrez, B.E., Villamil-Salcedo, V. and Pérez-Romero, J. 2012: Los modelos de atención primaria en salud mental: el caso de México. Atención Primaria 44, 441442.
Vargas-Terrez, B.E., Villamil-Salcedo, V., Rodríguez-Estrada, C., Pérez-Romero, J. and Cortés-Sotres, J. 2011: Validación de la escala Kessler 10 (K-10) en la detección de depresión y ansiedad en el primer nivel de atención. Propiedades psicométricas. Salud Mental. Salud Mental 34, 323331.
Villamil-Salcedo, V. 2011: Prevención y manejo comunitario de los Trastornos Mentales. In Sentíes Castellá, H., editor Psiquiatría para médicos no psiquiatras. Mexico City: Editorial Médica Panamericana, 281292.
World Health Organization 2010: MhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings. Geneva. p. 107.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Primary Health Care Research & Development
  • ISSN: 1463-4236
  • EISSN: 1477-1128
  • URL: /core/journals/primary-health-care-research-and-development
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed