TUESDAY, June 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends depression screening for all adults and anxiety screening for younger adults, but the evidence is insufficient for recommending screening for suicide risk in all adults or for anxiety screening in older adults. These findings form the basis of two final recommendation statements published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Elizabeth A. O’Connor, Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues reviewed the benefits and harms of screening and treatment for depression and suicide risk among adult primary care patients using data from 105 studies. The researchers found that depression screening interventions were associated with a lower prevalence of depression or clinically important depressive symptomatology after six to 12 months (pooled odds ratio, 0.60). A large body of evidence supported the benefits of psychological and pharmacologic depression treatment. There was generally no improvement over usual care in the included suicide prevention studies. Based on these findings, the USPSTF concludes that screening for major depressive disorder in adults has moderate net benefit (B statement), while the evidence is insufficient for assessing the benefits and harms of screening for suicide risk (I statement).
In a second evidence review, O’Connor and colleagues reviewed the benefits and harms of screening and treatment for anxiety among primary care patients using data from 59 publications. The researchers found that in two screening studies, there was no benefit for anxiety screening. Treatment for anxiety was supported by a large body of evidence. Based on these findings, the USPSTF concludes that anxiety disorder screening among adults had a moderate net benefit (B statement), but the evidence is insufficient for screening older adults (age 65 years or older; I statement).
“We are urgently calling for more research to determine the effectiveness of screening all adults for suicide risk and screening adults 65 and older for anxiety disorders,” task force member Gbenga Ogedegbe, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement.
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