Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Errors In Diagnosis Of Depression Lead To Over And Under Diagnosis In Primary Care

Date:
August 3, 2009
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
A meta-analysis of more than 50,000 patients has shown that general practitioners have great difficulty separating those with and without depression, with substantial numbers of missed and misidentified.

A meta-analysis of more than 50,000 patients has shown that general practitioners (GPs) have great difficulty separating those with and without depression, with substantial numbers of missed and misidentified.

GPs looking for depression make more misidentifications (false positives of depression) than the number of depressions they correctly spot following an initial consultation but accuracy could improved by re-assessment of people suspected of having depression.

These are the conclusions of an article published Online First and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet, written by Dr Alex Mitchell of University of Leicester together with Dr Amol Vaze, and Dr Sanajay Rao of Leicester Partnership Trust. The study pooled 41 trials from nine countries that used robust outcome standard of a semi-structured interview to assess depression. The researchers found that GPs were able to recognize about half of people who had clinical depression and correctly reassured 80% of healthy people.

Dr Alex Mitchell said "Imagine a typical GP who is trying to spot depression in a rural practice. He or she might see 100 people over five days. If all the people with depression came to see the GP at once, they would fill the surgery for at least half a day. However the hard pressed GP would actually only spot half of these cases and half would be missed. On four days the GP would see people with other complaints but he or she would mistakenly diagnose up to one in five as depressed, equivalent to almost one full day of contacts. In the worst case scenario false diagnoses could outnumber true diagnoses three to one."

Writing in the journal, the researchers said: "Our results should not be interpreted as a criticism of GPs for failing to diagnose depression but rather a call for better understanding of the problems that non-specialists face."

Dr Mitchell commented further that "research also suggests equivalent errors in the diagnosis of depression from allied health professionals and hospital specialists. Health professionals may be reluctant to give a label of depression, particularly in the medical notes. Further not all diagnostic errors are converted into therapeutic mistakes. Clinicians appear to treat those in whom they are most confident of the diagnosis and not those in whom a diagnosis is uncertain. Clinicians may also revise they diagnosis with subsequent assessments and we recommend that GPs give such people two appointments rather than one before coming to a decision, if the diagnosis is not initially clear."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Errors In Diagnosis Of Depression Lead To Over And Under Diagnosis In Primary Care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729132113.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2009, August 3). Errors In Diagnosis Of Depression Lead To Over And Under Diagnosis In Primary Care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729132113.htm
University of Leicester. "Errors In Diagnosis Of Depression Lead To Over And Under Diagnosis In Primary Care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090729132113.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins