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Depression Screening Rates Too Low

March 20, 2017


Depression screening rates remain extremely low. Even with the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) recommending that all adults over the age of 18 should be screened, depression screening numbers remains minuscule.depression screenings

Estimates from a recent report published in Psychiatric Services signal to less than five percent of adults currently being screened in America. Even as the primary care setting is often the first entrance into interacting with the health care system, many people are not being appropriately identified to start receiving the care that they need.

“The findings suggest missed opportunities for depression screening in the general population,” said Ayse Akincigil, co-author of the study.

When nearly one out of five Americans are battling some form of mental health condition, it is imperative that people can quickly assess whether they are experiencing depression. Estimates also point to the fact that over half of those with mental health conditions receive some form of care. Of those people who do receive care, it is estimated that only about 13 percent receive something that is effective for them to feel better.

The report concludes that “failure to apply standards of universal screening across all patient groups may exacerbate existing disparities in the identification and diagnosis of depression.”

There is a way to better align and connect the primary care physicians along healthcare’s continuum of care with the needed assessments that are not currently being taken. These conditions, when not dealt with properly, are connected to tremendous costs to the system.

depression screen

A leading health policy publication, Heath Affairs, named mental health conditions are the costliest medical condition in America.

Depression screenings have been suggested since 2002. Often the screening is covered by Medicare and private insurers, however the existing model of assessment is not effective.

There is a new, potentially easier, and more accessible way to screen for depression. Thanks to a partnership with the National Science Foundation, Chicago-based Prevail Health has developed an online behavioral health solution that begins with a clinical and demographic assessment to build a robust profile of the User.

The health assessment is known as a health quiz that can easily be done on any phone, tablet, or computer that it is internet-enabled. Tens of thousands of Users have already taken the health quiz to have a better understanding of their current situation, as well as begin receiving care to improve.

Want to take a health quiz to find out your health status? Try it here now.

Ayse Akincigil et al. National Rates and Patterns of Depression Screening in Primary Care: Results From 2012 and 2013, Psychiatric Services (2017). DOI: 10.1176/

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