Exploring the Mechanism of the Clinical Encounter on Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: A Path Analysis

Melissa D. Pinto, Amy M. Greenblatt, Bryan L. Williams, Adam I. Kaplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Elucidating mechanisms of how high quality clinical encounters with providers may alleviate depressive symptoms in young adults are critical to reduce psychological morbidity and disability. Guided by Street's Model of Health Communication (SMHC), this study explores the predictive relationships of the clinical encounter, which includes communication functions (patient-provider communication and patient self-appraisal of communication skills with provider) and proximal outcomes (patient activation; PA) to improve health outcomes (depressive symptoms) in young adults. This study of young adults (n = 60) employed path analysis to examine the overall model fit and direct and indirect effects of each variable on depressive symptoms. The final SMHC had excellent model fit (X2 = 2.26, p =.32, TLI =.99, CFI = 1.00, RMSEA =.05). Patient-provider communication and self-appraised communication skills with providers had indirect effects on depressive symptoms and a direct effect on PA; PA had a direct effect on depressive symptoms (R2 =.30, p <.01). Findings elucidate potential novel targets, amenable to behavioral intervention, to improve depressive symptoms within the clinical encounter, and provide a foundation for hypothesis-driven model testing among young adults with depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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