U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation: Adolescents Should be Screened for Depression
A federal task force has recommended that physicians routinely screen children between 12 and 18 for depression and have systems in place either to diagnose, treat and monitor those who screen positive or to refer them to specialists who can.
The new recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, bring depression screening for adolescents in line with recently issued depression-screening recommendations that apply to adults.
Major depressive disorder is thought to affect about 8% of adolescents each year, and only between 36% and 44% report they have gotten treatment. Symptoms most typically appear around 14 to 15 years of age and are seen in girls nearly twice as commonly as in boys. Those who contend with early depressive episodes are more likely to suffer recurrences later in life.
View the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation here. More information is available in Screening for Depression in Children and Adolescents: Consumer Guide.
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