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- From the primary care physician’s point of view the current situation is relatively clear-cut, though far from idea. The available evidence does not support routine screening for the early detection of depression. In fact, studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of screening instruments in clinical practice tend to argue against their use at present. None the less, depression is an extremely important and common condition and deserves careful attention from primary care clinicians. The literature indicates that important episodes of depression are being missed. Hence, the problem is far from resolved.