Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Routine screening for depression not recommended for adults with no apparent symptoms of depression

Date:
May 13, 2013
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
For adults with no apparent symptoms of depression, routine screening is not recommended in primary care settings because of the lack of high-quality evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for depression, according to new evidence-based guidelines.

For adults with no apparent symptoms of depression, routine screening is not recommended in primary care settings because of the lack of high-quality evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for depression, according to new evidence-based guidelines from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Related Articles


These guidelines mark a change in approach from the task force's 2005 guidelines, which recommended screening adults in primary care settings where there were integrated staff-assisted systems to manage treatment.

"In the absence of a demonstrated benefit of screening, and in consideration of the potential harms, we recommend not routinely screening for depression in primary care settings, either in adults at average risk or in those with characteristics that may increase their risk of depression," writes Dr. Michael Joffres, chair of the CTFPHC's depression guideline writing group and member of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, with coauthors.

The recommendations do not apply to people with known depression, with a history of depression or who are receiving treatment for depression.

However, clinicians should be alert to the possibility of depression, especially in patients with characteristics that may increase their risk of depression, and should look for it when there are clinical clues, such as insomnia, low mood, anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure) and suicidal thoughts.

Guidelines in other countries differ slightly from the Canadian guidelines. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends universal screening where supports exist to ensure follow-up treatment. In the United Kingdom, the National Institutes for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends a targeted approach, focusing on people with a history of depression rather than general screening.

These recommendations do not apply to people with known depression, with a history of depression or who are receiving treatment for depression.

"These recommendations do not apply to people with known depression, with a history of depression or who are receiving treatment for depression. Patients who present with symptoms or other clues to the presence of depression should be appropriately assessed for depression," explained Dr. Gabriela Lewin, member of the CTFPHC working group.

The task force calls for high-quality randomized controlled trials with an unscreened control group to understand the effect of screening, the potential harms of screening, such as false-positive diagnoses with subsequent unnecessary treatment, as well as the implications of earlier detection of depression through screening.

In a related commentary, Dr. Roger Bland, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, and coauthor write, "There is no question, as the task force amply illustrates, that depression constitutes a major public health problem. Although milder cases may require only watchful waiting rather than treatment, about 15% of people with major depression go on to a chronic course, with much residual disability. Family physicians have been criticized for failing to recognize depression. However, studies have shown that many missed cases are those of milder depression, which often remits spontaneously, and that patients with milder forms of depression may experience adverse effects and other complications if the depression is treated."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. Recommendations on screening for depression in adults. CMAJ, 2013 (in press) DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.130403

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Routine screening for depression not recommended for adults with no apparent symptoms of depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513123335.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2013, May 13). Routine screening for depression not recommended for adults with no apparent symptoms of depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513123335.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Routine screening for depression not recommended for adults with no apparent symptoms of depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130513123335.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

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