US task force recommends physicians screen all adult patients for depression

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force published new recommendations in JAMA that suggest primary care physicians screen all patients over the age of 18 — particularly older adults, pregnant and postpartum women — for depression at least once.

The updates were made to an existing recommendation the group made in 2009 that did not include pregnant and postpartum women. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine.

The groups of experts made their update after reviewing evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for depression in adult populations, the accuracy of depression screening instruments and the benefits and harms of depression treatment. The assessment did not include the cost of providing screening services.

Additionally, USPSTF recommends screening practices be implemented with "adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and appropriate follow-up."

Michael E. Thase, MD, professor of psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania and the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, wrote an editorial in JAMA endorsing the new guidelines.

"These recommendations are taking something that is good and making it even better," wrote Dr. Thase.

To read the full USPSTF update on depression screenings in primary care, click here.



More articles on depression and mental health:
Prevalence of depression among residents is 29% and growing
Internet-delivered program for depression meets ‘gold standard’ in effectiveness
Opinion: How gratitude can combat a major patient safety issue — clinician burnout

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars