U.S. Panel Reaffirms Depression Screening for Adolescents
Adolescents between 12 and 18 years old in the U.S. should be screened for depression, according to guidelines reaffirmed by a government-backed panel of prevention experts.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says about 8 percent of U.S. adolescents experience major depression each year. Less is known about how common the condition is among younger children, however.
Children and adolescents with depression typically have problems at school, work and home. Being depressed early in life is also linked to increased risks – of the condition recurring in adulthood, of suicide and of other mental disorders.
Previously, the USPSTF recommended screening for depression among kids ages 12 to 18 years if their doctor’s office had systems in place for accurate diagnosis, psychotherapy and follow-up care.