All adults should be screened for depression, and primary care physicians should do the screening, according to a position statement issued in October by the American College of Preventive Medicine.
With 6.7% of American adults — about 15 million people — experiencing depression in any given year, the prevalence of the disabling and potentially deadly condition makes it imperative that primary care doctors regularly screen their patients, the college’s statement said. The college consists of 2,000 physicians who specialize in preventive medicine practice or research.
Primary care physicians are the principal health care contacts for most patients with mental illnesses, according to the paper, published in the October Journal of Family Practice. More than a third of primary care patients experience some form of depression, and 10% of patients have major depression. But, the college’s position statement said, most depressed patients seeing primary care doctors go undiagnosed.
The whole shebang.