Doctors should screen all adults for depression, say expert panel

August 07, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Medical News Today

According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), doctors should regularly screen all adult patients for depression. The new draft recommendation represents a shift from the task force’s 2009 position, which was that in some cases, a lack of “staff-assisted depression care supports” should be weighed against the advisability of screening. “In recognition that such support is now much more widely available and accepted as part of mental health care, the current recommendation statement has omitted the recommendation regarding selective screening, as it is no longer representative of current clinical practice,” the new report says. The panel based its new recommendation on a review of several trials evaluating the positive and negative effects of depression screening. “The task force’s recommendation for all adults to be screened by their primary care physician will help to identify depression and connect patients with the treatment and support they need,” said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, USPSTF vice-chair.

Spark Extra! USPSTF invites public comment by August 24, 2015 on its recommended depression screening guidelines for adults