Depression Screening

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Depression is a major cause of disability among adults in the United States. Screening for depression can lead to earlier diagnosis of the illness, which leads to earlier treatment. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about depression screening in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Screening for depression refers to medical professionals routinely asking about symptoms of depression, even if their patients do not mention them.

Depression symptoms include feeling sad, hopeless, tired, distracted or not interested in activities that would normally interest them. Sometimes patients do not feel comfortable bringing up these symptoms with their doctors unless they are directly asked about them.

Several questionnaires are used to screen for depression. Those most commonly used in the primary care setting include the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory for Primary Care. These questionnaires range from two to nine questions and take only a few minutes to complete.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Forces current recommendations for depression screening state that all adults older than 18 should be routinely screened for depression. In addition to screening, systems should be in place to ensure proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for depression.

There are many effective ways to treat depression, including counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, or a combination of these approaches.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.