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.

Related Articles


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 January 28, 2015 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 January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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