Despite federal recommendations for depression screening, a new Rutgers study found that less than 5 percent of adults were screened for depression in primary care settings. The low screening rate suggests missed opportunities to identify individuals with depression and link them to care, according to study authors. The research was published in February in Psychiatric Services in Advance.
An estimated 13 to 16 percent of adults will experience symptoms of depression in their lifetime, and an estimated 4 to 8 percent experience major depression in a given year. Yet in primary care settings, depression goes unrecognized about half the time. Depression screening has been recommended since 2002 and it is generally covered by private insurance and Medicare.