Values Elicitation in Primary Care


People with depression or anxiety and other physical chronic conditions are in a unique position to benefit from interventions involving elicitation of their personal values (i.e., what they consider most important for their well-being and health). 

In this project, we aim to understand people's preferences and needs for how values elicitation should be carried out, and then co-design with them a technology-enabled service to satisfy those needs.


Anxiety and depression are common among adults, yet many do not seek any form of mental health treatment. This is problematic, as anxiety and depression are common among people with additional chronic conditions, and untreated mental health conditions can exacerbate symptoms associated with multiple chronic conditions. 

Additionally, a strong collaborative relationship between the patient and primary care clinician is important in managing multiple chronic conditions, but symptoms of anxiety and depression (e.g., amotivation, difficulty concentrating) hinder effective communication and reduce patients’ ability to engage in such a collaborative relationship. When this collaborative relationship breaks down, care planning is more difficult (e.g., patients and providers may disagree on health-related priorities), leading to worse patient experiences with providers and worse health outcomes.


This is a one-year pilot project intended to set up future work. It is funded internally by two Northwestern research centers: the NIMH-funded ALACRITY Center and the D. Pepper Older Adults Independence Center.

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