Monday, March 30, 2009
The task force recommendations appear in April’s issue of the journal Pediatrics. And they go farther than the American Academy of Pediatrics’ own guidance for teen depression screening.
An estimated 6 percent of U.S. teenagers are clinically depressed. Evidence shows that detailed but simple questionnaires can accurately diagnose depression in primary-care settings such as a pediatrician’s office.
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The task force said that when followed by treatment, including psychotherapy, screening can help improve symptoms and help kids cope. Because depression can lead to persistent sadness, social isolation, school problems and even suicide, screening to treat it early is crucial, the panel said.