Screen kids 8+ for anxiety, US task force recommends

Primary care providers should routinely screen all children ages 8 and older for anxiety, according to final recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force published Oct. 11 in JAMA

The group also recommended screening children aged 12 and older for depression. There is not enough evidence to recommend anxiety and depression screening in younger children, according to the task force.

"We are talking about screening young people who are not presenting with explicit signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression at the time that they come to their primary care physician for a visit," Martha Kubik, PhD, RN, task force member and professor of nursing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., told The New York Times.

A national survey conducted from 2018-2019 found 7.8 percent of children aged 3 to 17 had an anxiety disorder, the task force said in its recommendation. Many researchers believe COVID-19 exacerbated mental health conditions among children and adolescents. 

The task force said screening questionnaires vary, with some targeting specific anxiety disorders and others screening for various disorders. 

"Clinicians are encouraged to consider which anxiety disorders may be most common in their practice and which screening tools may be most feasible to use in their practice settings," the recommendation said. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars