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Welcome to the Bypassing the Blues Website!

Bypassing the Blues is a National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI)-funded effectiveness trial conducted through the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Research on Health Care. It was designed to examine the impact of a telephone-delivered collaborative care strategy for treating depression after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery on a broad variety of outcome measures that could influence uptake of our treatment strategy into routine clinical care.

CABG surgery is one of the most common and costly medical procedures performed in the U.S., and it clearly benefits most patients. However, up to half of post-CABG patients report elevated levels of depressive symptoms following surgery, and studies indicate these individuals are more likely to experience poorer health-related quality of life, continued chest pains, and higher risk of re-hospitalization and death.

Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of collaborative care strategies at improving clinical outcomes for major depression in primary care settings, yet Bypassing the Blues is the first to examine the impact of collaborative care for depression in a population with cardiac disease. To promote adoption of our methods by health care providers, we utilized the PHQ-9 and a tested, clinically-efficient two-step method to identify elevated levels of depressive symptoms following CABG surgery, and centralized nurse care managers who delivered collaborative care via telephone to patients and their primary care physicians.

As recently reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Bypassing the Blues treatment model can significantly speed recovery following CABG surgery. This website provides information about our trial and resources health professionals can use to develop their own post-CABG depression screening and treatment program. Check-back soon for more information and to find out the latest research and news about the field.