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Psychiatr Res Clin Pract


OBJECTIVE: To develop and validate algorithms to identify individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) at elevated risk for suicidality or for an acute care event.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis among adults with MDD diagnosed between January 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019. Generalized estimating equation models were developed to predict emergency department (ED) visit, inpatient hospitalization, acute care visit (ED or inpatient), partial-day hospitalization, and suicidality in the year following diagnosis. Outcomes (per 1000 patients per month, PkPPM) were categorized as all-cause, psychiatric, or MDD-specific and combined into composite measures. Predictors included demographics, medical and pharmacy utilization, social determinants of health, and comorbid diagnoses as well as features indicative of clinically relevant changes in psychiatric health. Models were trained on data from 1.7M individuals, with sensitivity, positive predictive value, and area-under-the-curve (AUC) derived from a validation dataset of 0.7M.

RESULTS: Event rates were 124.0 PkPPM (any outcome), 21.2 PkPPM (psychiatric utilization), and 7.6 PkPPM (suicidality). Among the composite models, the model predicting suicidality had the highest AUC (0.916) followed by any psychiatric acute care visit (0.891) and all-cause ED visit (0.790). Event-specific models all achieved an AUC >0.87, with the highest AUC noted for partial-day hospitalization (AUC = 0.938). Select predictors of all three outcomes included younger age, Medicaid insurance, past psychiatric ED visits, past suicidal ideation, and alcohol use disorder diagnoses, among others.

CONCLUSIONS: Analytical models derived from clinically-relevant features identify individuals with MDD at risk for poor outcomes and can be a practical tool for health care organizations to divert high-risk populations into comprehensive care models.

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