News You Can Use
A federal preventive service task force recently concluded that thousands of people could receive earlier treatment for depression if their regular doctors took a few moments to ask two questions:
- Are you currently sad or depressed?
- Are the things that previously brought you pleasure no longer bringing you pleasure?
A "yes" to either question is a signal to follow up with more questions to determine if the patient has depression.
According to Dr. Michael Pignone of the University of North Carolina and lead author of the study, the research concludes that if primary physicians screen all patients, countless people could be helped who would otherwise go untreated.
While doctors are already under tight time and resource constraints when it comes to patient care, taking those precious few moments to screen for depression could be worthwhile. Often, depression is found to be the underlying problem behind patient complaints and multiple office visits.
You can read more about the study in the following article:
"Screening for Depression in Adults: A summary of Evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force". Annuals of Internal Medicine, May 21, 2002, vol. 136 No. 10, pp. 765-776.
For more information regarding senior depression, please contact:
Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Heritage Center at 402-572-2534