ACPM recommends primary care have systems in place for screening and treating depression

Oct 06, 2009

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) supports the recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that primary care providers should screen all adults for depression, and further recommends that all primary care providers should have systems in place to ensure the accurate diagnosis and treatment of this condition. The earliest and best opportunities to identify depression are in the clinics of primary care providers and all primary care practices should have such systems of care in place.

According to Dr. Michael T. Compton, one of the lead authors of ACPM's recommendation, "Depressive disorders are common in primary care settings and are associated with substantial morbidity and disability for individuals, as well as direct and indirect costs to society. Yet, is a highly treatable condition, and the goal of treatment is complete recovery. We believe that all primary care providers should be equipped to screen for depression and to assure timely and adequate treatment, either in their own practices or through an established system of referral to mental health professionals."

Depression is a potentially life-threatening disorder that affects approximately 14.8 million Americans 18 years of age and older in a given year. Depression also affects many people younger than age 18. The STAR*D (Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression) study found that nearly 40% had their first depressive episode before the age of 18.

According to Dr. Mark B. Johnson, President of ACPM, "Depression is a major concern in the United States that leads to devastating consequences in many families. ACPM will continue to monitor emerging evidence on ways to prevent, screen for and treat this disease."

More information: ACPM's practice position statement on screening adults for depression appears in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of Family Practice. The statement can be viewed at www.acpm.org/pol_positionstate.htm .

Source: American College of Preventive Medicine

Explore further: Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies

Jan 23, 2015

People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that we ...

Explainer: What is sexual fluidity?

Jan 23, 2015

Sexual preferences are not set in stone and can change over time, often depending on the immediate situation the individual is in. This has been described as sexual fluidity. For example, if someone identifies as heterosexual but th ...

Lucky charms: When are superstitions used most?

Jan 23, 2015

It might be a lucky pair of socks, or a piece of jewelry; whatever the item, many people turn to a superstition or lucky charm to help achieve a goal. For instance, you used a specific avatar to win a game and now you see ...

Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow

Jan 22, 2015

Low-income boys fare worse, not better, when they grow up alongside more affluent neighbors, according to new findings from Duke University. In fact, the greater the economic gap between the boys and their neighbors, the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.