Title

Depression screening in an academic family practice

Aurora Affiliations

Aurora Lakeland Medical Center

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Screening for depression in primary care can be effective, but ensuring that appropriate care is available and engaging patients in treatment are major challenges. Even when follow-up care is available, patient engagement often relies on the primary care provider initiating care. In this study we wanted to assess the effectiveness of a depression screening program in an academic family practice.

RESULTS: Depression screening occurred in 98.4% of all adult encounters (n=3,341). Of these patients, 7.3% screened positive for depression and were not presenting for mood problems. Only 33.7% of patients with positive screens had their results addressed. Patients who had their results addressed were twice as likely to return for follow-up as those who did not (34.1% versus 17.4%). Patients with severe depression were more likely to follow-up than patients with mild depression (53% versus 15%).

RESULTS: Depression screening occurred in 98.4% of all adult encounters (n=3341). Of these patients 7.3% screened positive for depression and were not presenting for mood problems. Only 33.7% of patients with positive screens had their results addressed. Patients who had their results addressed were twice as likely to return for follow-up as those who did not (34.1% vs. 17.4%, P

CONCLUSIONS: Depression screening can be efficiently incorporated into primary care practice, but engaging providers and patients in diagnosis and treatment is challenging. We recommend a systems-based approach that emphasizes immediate access to treatment when implementing depression screening in a primary care practice.

Document Type

Article

PubMed ID

28166579