Does Screening For Depression In Primary Care Improve Outcome?

Research Summary | February 13, 2017

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Key Messages

  • Since the 2002 introduction of routine screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in primary care settings, improvements in patient outcomes achieved by collaborative depression care and single disease management approaches have been modest, leading some to question the value of routine screening.
  • Comorbid depression is common in patients with cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic infectious disease and is associated with treatment nonadherence, complications, and adverse outcomes. More recently, integrated measurement-based strategies for managing comorbid depression, diabetes, and/or cardiac disease have demonstrated substantially improved patient outcomes compared with usual care.
  • Expanding the integrated management of multiple morbidities to encompass several psychiatric and substance abuse conditions may help to further improve patient outcomes. The one-page, 27-item My Mood Monitor (M-3) checklist may assist in screening for these conditions.

The following is a summary of Culpepper L. Does screening for depression in primary care improve outcome? Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2012;14:345–352, which was developed independently of the article author. Background In 2002, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended routine screening for MDD in primary care settings. During ensuing years, knowledge regarding MDD,…

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