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Monday Memo
Monday Memo
Monday, February 22, 2016
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Screen All Adults for Depression

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has expanded its guidelines for depression screening, saying it is universally helpful to all U.S. adults over the age of 18, including pregnant and postpartum women.

The harm associated with screening adults and treating them with cognitive behavioral therapy is "small to none," the task force said in its final statement, posted January 26, 2016 in JAMA.

The statement also calls for mental health specialists, primary-care providers and health systems to work collaboratively to manage depressive disorders. Experts say raising a red flag about depression is just the first step in securing treatment for patients. Next, is ensuring proper diagnosis and treatment.

[Modern Healthcare, January 26, 2016, "Task force urges depression screening for all U.S. adults"]

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Tips from our featured course

Why Screen?

In spite of the high prevalence of mental health and substance use problems, too many Americans go without treatment, in part because their disorders go undiagnosed. Regular screenings in primary care and other health care settings promote earlier identification of mental health and substance use disorders.

Screenings should be provided to people of all ages, even the young and the elderly.

Depression screening tests can be used to screen for both depression and bipolar disorder.

It is essential to note that the results obtained from any of the depression rating scales are imperfect in any population. This is especially true of the geriatric and adolescent populations.

When administering a standardized instrument, be prepared by having clear protocols for follow-up after positive depression screening results.

[Depression, Module B, Pathophysiology]

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My Patient is Depressed, Now What?

Once detected, intervention and appropriate treatment can:

  • Promote remission
  • Prevent relapse
  • Reduce the emotional and financial burden of the disease

So, refer your patient and follow up.

[Depression, Module B, Pathophysiology]

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