Two questions could rule out depression

Baines, Emma
November 2003
GP: General Practitioner;11/24/2003, p16
A diagnosis of mental depression can be ruled out by asking patients two questions, according to a research carried out in New Zealand. Researchers have asked 421 patients if they had often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless in the past month, and if they had often been bothered by a lack of interest or pleasure in doing things. They compared the number of patients who answered yes to both questions with the outcome a of more extensive screening interview to identify depression. Of the 129 patients who responded positively to both questions, 28 were depressed according to further screening. However, out of 263 patients who responded negatively, there was only one depressed patient. The researchers have concluded that GPs could detect most cases of depression using these two questions, saving time otherwise spent on more extensive screening.


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