Screening for Depression in Primary Care (2005)
- The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) concludes that there is fair evidence to recommend screening adults for depression in primary care settings since screening improves health outcomes when linked to effective follow-up and treatmenti. (B recommendation)
- The CTFPHC concludes that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening adults for depression in primary care settings where effective follow-up and treatment* are not available. (I recommendation)
- The CTFPHC concludes that there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for depression among children or adolescents in primary settings. (I recommendation)
i.In the studies reviewed, “effective follow-up and treatment” referred to screening programs that were integrated with both feedback to the clinician regarding depression status, as well as a system for managing treatment (antidepressant medications and psychotherapeutic interventions). Trials that included access to case management or mental health care as part of the system of care were particularly effective in reducing depressive symptoms. Since integrated screening and feedback/treatment systems are not the norm in Canadian primary care practice, clinicians are encouraged to advocate for these.