Faster and Easier Approaches for Improving Patients’ Depression Treatment Outcomes

Care For Your Mind |  January 3, 2017
Michael E. Thase, MD, Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment and Research Program
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

[Excerpt] Depression affects more than 15 million Americans and it’s the leading underlying factor for people who attempt suicide. Only half of Americans diagnosed with major depression receive treatment. Because earlier diagnosis and treatment improve outcomes, mental health screenings should be a top priority.

We need to do a better job of identifying and treating people with depression. Research shows that screenings in primary care practices are a key part of the solution. Depression screenings are simple questionnaires that doctors can provide for patients. Earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation that primary care screenings be implemented for all adults, including perinatal women.

While  screenings are the first step, treatment is the second, and there’s no reason why accessing treatment shouldn’t be a quicker, more effective process for the majority of patients.

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Care For Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers for developing this post.