Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

USPSTF: Screen Pregnant Women for Depression

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

USPSTF: Screen Pregnant Women for Depression

Article excerpt


All adults, including pregnant and postpartum women, should be screened for depression, according to a recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

The recommendation also calls for screening to be coupled with "adequate systems" to ensure diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up (TAMA. 2016 fan 26;315[4]:380-7).

The depression screening recommendation, authored by Dr. Albert L. Siu and the other members of the USPSTF, is a level B recommendation, meaning that it has either high certainty of moderate net benefit, or moderate certainty of moderate to substantial net benefit.

The new guidance in screening for depression helps address a disorder that is "the leading cause of disability among adults in high-income countries," said Dr. Siu and his coauthors.

Lost productivity attributable to depression cost $23 billion in the United States in 2011, and $22.8 billion was spent on treatments for depression in 2009, the last year for which figures are available.

Dr. Siu, chair of geriatrics and palliative medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and his coauthors cited "convincing evidence that screening improves the accurate identification of adult patients with depression in primary care settings, including pregnant and postpartum women."

In addition, the task force found convincing evidence that for older adults as well as the general adult population, treatment of "depression identified through screening in primary care settings with antidepressants, psychotherapy, or both decreases clinical morbidity."

For pregnant and postpartum women with depression, Dr. Siu and his coauthors found "adequate" evidence that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) improves outcomes.

The recommendation does not identify optimal timing and intervals for depression screening, citing a need for more research in this area.

However, "a pragmatic approach might include screening all adults who have not been screened previously and using clinical judgment in consideration of risk factors, comorbid conditions, and life events to determine if additional screening of high-risk patients is warranted," explained Dr. Siu and his coinvestigators.

The new depression screening recommendation from USPSTF updates the 2009 recommendation, which recommended universal screening if "staff-assisted depression care supports" were in place, and targeted screening based on clinical judgment and patient preference if such support were unavailable. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.