A recent study published in Psychiatric Services in Advance, a journal of the APA, reveals depression screenings were conducted in fewer than 5 percent of individuals in primary care situations. Researchers say this data indicates that primary care physicians may be missing signs and/or symptoms of depression, leading to a lower rate of diagnosis.
According to the study, geriatric patients, men, and African Americans were less likely to be screened overall. Failing to screen patients in an equitable manner could lead to these patient populations experiencing more significant depression-related issues that are found earlier in groups who are more likely to be screened. The study authors also found that clinics that implemented a system of electronic health records were more likely to conduct depression screenings compared to those who did not.
Josh Gibson is a former psychiatrist who now works as an executive coach and consultant.