Objective: To assess whether non-psychiatric physicians would benefit from a national depression training program and explore associated factors. Method: Attending physicians were asked to complete survey questionnaires of confidence, attitude, knowledge, and their willingness to implement new strategies to improve care, before and after training. Paired t-test and multiple regression analysis were used to determine the differences and explore factors associated with the domains of confidence, attitude, and knowledge. McNemar's test was used to compare the difference between the physicians' intention to change depression management before and after training. Results: Of 524 eligible physicians, 307 (59%) completed the pre- and post-program assessments. These physicians showed significantly increased knowledge score and willingness to implement new treatment strategies, as well as more positive attitude toward and confidence in treating depression. The lower corresponding baseline score was associated with greater improvement in domains of knowledge, confidence, and attitude. Completion of the training was associated with an improvement in knowledge and becoming less helpless and avoidant attitude. Other factors including non-family-medicine physicians, post-graduate education, and female gender are associated with greater improvements in various domains. Conclusions: Our study shows that even a brief educational program can positively influence the physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in treating depression. Further work is needed to monitor whether the effects of training are long-term, and can be translated into behavioral change in practice.
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