Washington, Sept. 16 -- : As anxiety and depression rise during the pandemic, primary care clinics, especially in rural areas, are facing increased patient needs.

A way to address this is to bolster healthcare providers' ability to diagnose and treat patients with common mental health disorders.

Researchers at UW Medicine found that primary-care physicians and rural clinic staff felt more skilled in delivering mental health care if they used a model known as collaborative care.

The results were published on September 14 in the Annals of Family Medicine and added to the evidence supporting collaborative care's effectiveness.

In the model, primary-care physicians retain primary responsibility to treat behavioural health disorders with the...